Well, it’s not uncommon especially if you are demolishing a building, breaking ground or your development is close to a water source.
Although smooth and palmate newts are not protected by law in the UK the larger Great Crested Newt receives full legal protection under the Conservation of Species and Habitats Regulations 2010 and the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
If a habitat shows potential for newts on a development site, our fully licensed ecology consultants will be able to advise on the best survey solutions.
At this point, we’d like to give you some good news. Great Crested Newts almost never stop your development.
But what is the newt survey and mitigation process? Firstly, the need for great crested newt surveys will generally be identified at the time of a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal also know as a Habitat Walkover or Phase 1 Survey.
If the potential for newts is shown, then environmental DNA and presence newt surveys (sometimes referred to as bottle trap surveys) may need to be completed. These newt surveys need to show whether great crested newts are present in the area, what populations are like, and how they use the site.
If protected species are detected, then a mitigation plan is designed to show how you’ll avoid, reduce, or manage any negative effects on them. Working with your ecologist you need to decide which methods are right for the project you’re working on.
A mitigation licence from Natural England is required. Once received the moving of newts to a new home can then take place.