If great crested newts are discovered on a site once a development is under way, all work must cease immediately and an ecologist employed to determine an appropriate course of action and to liase with the licensing authority. Works may have to be delayed until mitigation can be undertaken at the appropriate time of year.
Robust surveys carried out in the planning stages of your project will save you time and money.

Contact us for advice in relation to your project

Great Crested Newt

Great crested newts are distributed all across the UK but are uncommon. Great crested newts (GCN) can be found breeding in ponds during the spring and summer time and also in a variety of terrestrial habitats throughout the rest of the year.

What is a Great Crested Newt?

Great crested newts are our largest species of newt, they are also our most threatened. GCN are much larger than the other native newt species (Smooth newt and Palmate newt), they can grow up to 15cm in length and are much bulkier. GCN have black or brown skin which is rough and has tiny white spots. The underside of great crested newts is bright orange and has black spots; this belly pattern is individual to each newt and can be used in the same way as a fingerprint to gain data on individual newts. Male GCN develop an impressive crest along their back and a silver streak along the middle of the tail during the spring and summer which they use to attract females during the breeding season. Female newts are generally longer than males and have an orange line on the underside of the tail.

Under threat

There has been a sharp decline in the number of great crested newts over the last century some of the main threats to the species are:
• The loss of suitable breeding ponds through development and neglect
• Many ponds have been stocked with fish which predate both GCN eggs and larvae
• intensification of agriculture has led to a loss terrestrial of habitat
• loss of connectivity features such as hedgerows and woodlands

What can you do?

Identifying areas which have the potential to support GCN in the planning stages of your development will save you time and money in the long run. Fines of up to £5000 per newt and a custodial sentence of up to six months can be imposed for killing or disturbing great crested newts or destroying their habitat. Any work which could affect great crested newts or their habitat must be carried out under a European Protected Species licence issued by Natural England.


Case Studies

Phase 2a for High Speed 2 (HS2)

December 2016
Site: Phase 2a for High Speed 2 (HS2) - from the West Midlands to Crewe Client: Biocensus c/o Arup ##Project overview In spring 2016 UES were subcontracted ... more...

EcIA at Lingley Mere, Warrington

October 2016
Site: Lingley Mere Business Park, Warrington Client: Muse Developments ##Project overview UES was commissioned to produce a suite of ecological reports in or... more...

Protected species surveys in Lydney

August 2016
Site: Lydney, Gloucestershire Client: MMC Land and Regeneration ##Project overview UES were instructed to carry out ecological surveys on a former golf cours... more...

Bat surveys of 31 schools across England

February 2016
Site: 31 schools across England including Yorkshire, Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Derbyshire, Nottingham, Greater London and Kent. Client: Education Funding A... more...

GCN surveys and licensing in Cheshire

January 2016
Site: Robinsons Nurseries, Cheshire Client: Robinsons Nurseries Ltd Protected species: Great crested newts ##Project overview UES were appointed by Robinson... more...

Bat & GCN surveys in Runcorn, Cheshire

December 2015
Site: Runcorn, Cheshire Client: Cranford Estates Protected species: Great crested newts & bats ##Project overview UES carried out a preliminary ecological a... more...

GCN scoping survey in Sheerness, Kent

October 2014
Site: Proposed site for a new school in Sheerness, Kent Client: Education Funding Agency c/o Gleeds Protected species: Great crested newts ##Project overview... more...

Bat survey in Wilmslow, Cheshire

March 2012
UES have completed a bat survey and habitat survey of a property in Wilmslow, Cheshire. Bat surveys of the buildings on site consisting of initial building ins... more...

Phase 1 Habitat Survey in Winchester

November 2011
UES recently completed an Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey of an old mill in Winchester. An Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey involves mapping the habitats on the ... more...

Extended phase 1 habitat survey in Deeside

August 2011
UES have completed an extended phase 1 habitat survey of a site in Deeside, North Wales in order to inform the client of any potential impacts their development... more...

Great crested newt survey in Cheshire

June 2011
UES were commissioned in June 2011 to conduct a great crested newt pond scoping survey to assess potential presence of great crested newts within 250m of the de... more...

Ecological appraisal and landscape design

January 2011
UES initially completed an Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey and ecological appraisal of a site in Loughton, Essex. The proposed site footprint, currently a mosai... more...

Landscape design in Loughton, Essex

January 2011
UES were commissioned in the winter of 2010 to carry out a Phase 1 habitat survey of a site in Loughton, Essex. The site which is in the grounds of a retirement... more...

Extended phase 1 survey in Lancashire

January 2011
UES have completed an extended phase 1 habitat survey of a site in Lancashire for Seddon Homes in order to inform the client of any potential impacts their deve... more...

Great crested newt trapping scheme

November 2010
Project summary In 2008/09, UES were instructed to conduct a Great Crested Newt (GCN) mitigation scheme for Augean PLC at Slipe Clay pits in King’s Cliffe, n... more...

Breeam Habitat Survey in Birmingham

November 2010
UES were commissioned to provide an Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey of o high rise office complex near Edgbaston in Birmingham. The Survey is to provide informa... more...

Ecological Surveys near Nantwich in Cheshire

October 2010
United Environmental Services were commissioned to carry out an Extended Phase 1 Habitat survey, bat surveys, barn owl surveys and to provide advice on any grea... more...

Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey Flintshire

May 2010
United Environmental Services have completed an Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey of a site near the town of Flint in North Wales. The site has been a dis-used br... more...

Major Pipeline Survey

January 2010
UES were commissioned by a Northwest based utilities company to carry out survey work for a major pipeline in the north west of England. ##Planning The propo... more...

Tarbock Hall Golf Course

January 2010
Tarbock Hall is a 86 hectare parcel of land west of Liverpool. The land was used for agriculture until 2000 when it was sold to a team of developers who wanted ... more...

GCN trapping and relocation

November 2009
Augean PLC own and manage various hazardous waste landfill operations across England. In 2008/09, UES successfully won the tender to conduct a great crested n... more...