Great Crested Newt Survey

Great Crested Newt Survey

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What a Great Crested Newt Survey by Adonis Ecology Can Do for You

If you need a professional Great Crested Newt survey and report for a planning application or for legal compliance, if you need to keep costs down, and if you need to keep things running on time - you can have that and more with Adonis Ecology.

Our aim is to help create a situation where business and Great Crested Newt conservation is on the same side - where you can make more money and help conserve wildlife at the same time. To achieve this, we not only look for ways to save you money while ensuring your development complies with relevant wildlife legislation and planning policy, we also look for ways to actually add value so that you can have more profit and achieve a development which you can be proud of for the way it protects and enhances habitat for rare wildlife such as Great Crested Newts.

We would intend to develop a long term relationship with you as we have with our other Great Crested Newt survey clients, most of whom are professional developers and their advisors, such as architects, planning consultants, and chartered surveyors, so you will find that:

Your Great Crested Newt survey and report from Adonis Ecology would achieve your goals in a highly cost-effective manner, because:

You can be confident that we deliver what we promise, as our quality system is ISO 9001:2008 quality assured. In addition, here is an example from a client of Adonis Ecology of how our Great Crested Newt surveys and assessments can deliver for you:

"Adonis Ecology in the person of Richard Sands carried out a comprehensive Great Crested Newt assessment in support of our planning application for a detached stable block. The assessment report was a very professional document which addressed local and surrounding habitat and the potential impact of our development on the newt population. This produced a reasoned risk assessment, along with sensible and pragmatic recommendations to protected newts during the work, and in the use of the stable. With Richard liaising direct with the county ecology department the report and recommendations were accepted, leading to the granting of our planning permission, without the need for a full Great Crested Newt survey. Due to Richard's excellent work on our behalf, as well as achieving our planning permission I estimate we have saved something in the order of £3000 from not having to carry out the full survey." Mike, Warwickshire.

Certain types of Great Crested Newt surveys can only be carried out in a narrow seasonal window each year, so if your business requires a Great Crested Newt survey, contact us today to discuss your site and requirements in more detail so you don't miss the seasonal window - or you could have to wait for another year!

More detailed information on the different Great Crested Newt assessment and survey types is given below.

Great Crested Newt Habitat Assessment

You would be strongly advised to carry out this stage first if you have been asked for a Great Crested Newt survey (even if the Local Planning Authority are initially insisting on a presence/absence survey) as in some cases this type of survey, together with some impact avoidance precautions, can allow your development to proceed in compliance with planning and legal requirements without the need for more comprehensive surveys. Even if more comprehensive surveys are still required, the habitat assessment would set the scope for surveys. Also, because this habitat assessment can be carried out at any time of year, there is no need to delay having this survey and you could save time with your planning application.

Your Great Crested Newt Habitat Assessment would be in accordance with Natural England guidance and involve a site survey visit and a data search. The site survey visit would be by an experienced ecologist who would assess the nearby waterbodies for likelihood of supporting Great Crested Newts using the HSI (Habitat Suitability Index) method, as well as assessing the land on your site itself. This is because as amphibians, Great Crested Newts breed in ponds and other waterbodies in spring, but spend much of the rest of the time on land. The purpose of the data search would be to check for local records of Great Crested Newts in the area, as local records would affect the assessed likelihood of Great Crested Newts occurring.

The outcome of the site survey visit and data search would be an indication of what type and level of planning and legal risks Great Crested Newts were presenting and on which parts of your site. Our report would give you recommendations on how your development could avoid this risk as far as possible, and where this was not reasonably possible, what would likely be required in terms of more comprehensive surveys and mitigation to satisfy planning and legal requirements. More comprehensive surveys would normally consist of Great Crested Newt Presence/Absence Survey as described below.

For planning applications, please note that government guidance states that Local Planning Authorities should have ALL the survey and mitigation information BEFORE they decide a planning application - so if needed, these more comprehensive surveys are almost always required before the planning application is decided, and are rarely made a condition of planning consent.

If you think you require a Great Crested Newt Habitat Assessment, contact us today to discuss your site and requirements in more detail.

Great Crested Newt Presence/Absence Survey

This survey would be carried out for you on ponds and other waterbodies considered from the habitat assessment to present a significant risk of supporting Great Crested Newts that could affect your proposed activity. This is because it is rarely as cost-effective (or as accurate) to determine presence or absence by searching for Great Crested Newts on land.

The survey would be carried out in accordance with Natural England guidelines, and involve four survey visit sessions to each waterbody in the evenings and typically also in the mornings. Three types of survey method would be used on each occasion - the particular survey methods used would depend upon site conditions. A licensed Great Crested Newt surveyor and assistant would carry out the survey together to ensure the survey was both legal and safe. In addition to determining whether Great Crested Newts were present, the survey would aim to find out whether they were likely to be breeding, as this would affect the mitigation requirements.

The typical outcomes of such a survey would be as follows:

Great Crested Newt Population Size Class Surveys

This survey would follow on from the Great Crested Newt presence/absence survey, and would involve two more visits to the waterbody or waterbodies known to support Great Crested Newts, using methods appropriate to determine numbers of Great Crested Newts present. The findings of these visits would be combined with the findings of the Great Crested Newt presence/absence survey to determine the approximate population size (small, medium or large) as the size of population affects the mitigation that would need to be described in the Method Statement.

Here is an example from a client of Adonis Ecology of how our Great Crested Newt surveys can deliver for you:

“Many thanks for the excellent help you have given us resolving a very difficult issue with Great Crested Newts at the High Pines plot in Cranleigh. I am so pleased to find an Ecological Consultant that is willing to challenge the alarmist stance taken by Local Authority Planning Officers and local NIMBY’s. Without your help we would have been delayed by probably one year on this project at very considerable cost. We shall certainly use you again for this type of work and I would recommend you to any of my contacts in the business.” Clive Woods, Beckbridge Developments Ltd., Surrey.

Please note that Great Crested Newt presence/absence and population size class surveys can only be carried out in spring - and at least half of the survey visits need to be between mid-April and mid-May to ensure compliance with Natural England guidelines.

If you think you may require these sort of Great Crested Newt surveys, contact us today to discuss your site and requirements in more detail and to ensure you do not miss the seasonal survey window - or you may have to wait another year!


Page Author: Richard Sands