Great Crested Newt Surveys

Crestwood’s licensed surveyors are able to undertake comprehensive protected species surveys and offer advice if your development is likely to impact upon great crested newt and their habitat. The Newt survey season is date dependent, as described below, so our aim is to ensure you can proceed with your development project as quickly as possible.

Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) Assessment

A visual assessment of ponds at and within 500m of a site to determine the likely presence of Great Crested Newt, using industry standard guidelines for HSI. This is often a standard requirement of planning. HSI can be undertaken throughout the year, however optimal timing is between May and September.

Presence / Likely Absence Survey

The initial surveys involve 4 survey visits to ascertain presence or likely absence of great crested newt at accessible ponds at and within 500m of a site between mid-March and mid-June. At least 2 surveys undertaken between mid-April and mid-May.

Methods used include torchlight searches, netting, egg searches and bottle trapping.

Population Size Class Assessment

Involves 6 survey visits (2 additional following Presence / Likely Absence Surveys) to ascertain an estimated population size of GCN at and within 500m of the Site between mid-March and mid-June, with 3 visits being conducted during peak season (mid-April and mid-May).

Environmental DNA (eDNA)

eDNA (environmental DNA) sampling and analysis makes it possible to detect the presence of Great Crested Newts (GCNs) in a water body during the breeding season by taking water samples from the water bodies which are then analysed within strict laboratory conditions.

Natural England will only accept negative results from water samples in relation to planning applications when sampled between 15th April – 30th June.

It’s important to contact us in plenty of time to arrange a survey within this time window.

Water samples must be taken by a licensed ecologist in accordance with sett protocols. We offer this sampling service in-house and all analyses are undertaken in quality assured proficiency tested laboratories. See more about eDNA and Metabarcoding here.

Great Crested Newt Mitigation and Licencing

Our staff have extensive experience of submission and design of great crested newt European Protected Species (EPS) licence application for a wide range and size of projects. We design full translocation and mitigation strategies and provide long-term monitoring of sites.


Contact us today for more information about these services.

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