Protected Species Surveys

Great Crested Newt Surveys
Water Vole Surveys
Bird Surveys
Bat Surveys
Badger Surveys
Otter Surveys
Invertebrate Surveys
Reptile Surveys
Brown Hare Surveys

Habitat Surveys

Phase 1 Habitat Surveys
Pre-Purchase Site Assessment
River Surveys
Hedgerow Surveys
Invasive Species Surveys
Bryophyte Surveys

Environmental Impact Assessment

EIA

Habitat Creation
Restoration & Mitigation

Aquatic Habitats
Terrestrial Habitats

Management Plans

CMS Bespoke Plans

 




 
 

Great Crested Newt Surveys

PENNINE ecological are a leading regional consultancy in relation to this important protected species. Great crested newt surveys and licensing accounts for a high proportion of our business turnover and workload. We hold survey licences and development licences for the species and have contributed to important Natural England research studies in relation to the species.

We undertake great crested newt surveys throughout the survey season between mid-March and mid-June. We have a large team of Natural England licensed surveyors who are able to undertake both large and small scale projects throughout the country. We undertake surveys for any size of organisation including; householders, developers, local authorities and government bodies.

PENNINE ecological undertake surveys strictly in accordance with standard Natural England methods. These are ‘Presence and Absence Surveys’ and where the species is found to be present ‘Population Size Class Assessment Surveys’.

We use the following survey methods; torch light survey, egg search, bottle trapping and netting. For Presence and Absence Surveys four separate survey visits must be applied to each waterbody. Population Size Class Assessment Surveys require six separate survey visits to each waterbody.

 

 


When can we undertake great crested newt surveys for our development?

The following table provides the answer to this frequently asked question:

Great Crested Newt Survey Season: *Presence & Absence Surveys: 4 separate visits using 3 methods.

Mid March
-
End March
Early April
-
Mid April
Mid April
-
End April
Early May
-
Mid May
Mid May
-
End May
Early June
-
Mid June

Acceptable period for surveys

Acceptable period for surveys

 

At least 50% of survey (2 separate visits using 3 survey methods)
must be in this period

Acceptable period for surveys

Acceptable period for surveys

*Four separate survey visits to each waterbody are required, each visit must use at least three methods (preferably: torch light survey, egg search, bottle trapping or where one of these methods is not possible netting can be used as a substitute). At least 50% of the survey must be between mid-April and mid-May. Remaining surveys can be undertaken in any of the above periods, although ideally these should be spread over the survey season.

If great crested newts are discovered, then an additional 2 rounds of survey are required making a total of 6 rounds of survey. This then provides sufficient data to determine ‘Population Size Class Assessment’ which is a requirement for a Natural England Development Licence.

 



 




 

 



For further information on survey methods and timing see pages 21 – 29 of the Great Crested Newt Mitigation Guidelines which is available as a pdf download from Natural England’s website by clicking the image above.

 

For further information on mitigation licensing, view the pdf download from Natural England’s website by clicking the image above.

 

For further information on getting your mitigation licence on first submission, view the PDF download from Natural England’s website by clicking the image above.

 

Once surveys have been completed we can advise clients whether or not a Natural England licence will be required for their development. In some cases the answer to this question is immediately obvious. It is also often possible to advise clients on the likely requirement for a licence before surveys based on the assumption that the species is present.

In other situations it is sometimes possible for developments to be undertaken without the need for a Natural England licence using RAMS (Reasonable Avoidance Measures) or precautionary measures. PENNINE ecological will always advise clients where we think this is possible to avoid the costly implications of Natural England licensing and mitigation work.

Further details and examples of our work are included below. Also please refer to our extensive case study section for more detailed project information in relation to great crested newts.


Example contracts include... (see also Case Studies at the bottom of this page)

  • 2010 - Present - Seddon Construction Ltd - Bury Hospice

    PENNINE Ecological undertook baseline ecological surveys and successfully acquired a Natural England Great crested newt licence for this important project. Newt fencing and site clearance was completed in summer 2011.

  • 2007 – Present - Chorley Borough Council - Hic Bibi Nature Reserve, Coppull

    PENNINE ecological have monitored this site annually since 1996, undertaking numerous surveys including; water voles, invertebrates, vegetation, birds and great crested newt surveys. In 2007 we applied for a Natural England GCN Conservation Licence for this important high population colony near Chorley. The sites ponds were threatened by natural colonisation and drying out. 

    We created three ponds, new habitats and several large hibernacula. We are very pleased to report that all three ponds now support the species in good numbers

  • 2010 / 2011 - Wigan Council - Martland Mill, Footpath Link Improvements

    PENNINE ecological undertook baseline ecological surveys and successfully acquired a Natural England GCN licence for this project.

    Approximately 1km of newt fencing was installed followed by site clearance and habitat creation.

  • 2006 – Present  - Lancashire County Council - Eaves Green Link Road, Chorley

    PENNINE ecological undertook baseline ecological surveys for this important link road to the south of Chorley. We acquired a Natural England GCN licence and implemented the mitigation works.

  • 2006 - Lancashire County Council - Brun Valley Greenway, Burnley

    PENNINE ecological acquired and implemented a Natural England GCN licence scheme for the construction of new bridle and footpath routes within Burnley.

  • 2004 - Parsons Brinkerhoff - M6 / M55 /M65: MIDAS Communications upgrade

    PENNINE ecological undertook baseline ecological surveys for this important upgrade of overhead motorway communications in Lancashire. This work included GCN surveys and implementation of a precautionary measures GCN Method Statement.

  • 2003 – 2005 - Bertram Hyde - A5 / M6 toll road improvement scheme, Leicester

    PENNINE ecological under contact to Bertram Hyde and on behalf of Interserve and Parsons Brinkerhoff undertook baseline ecological surveys including GCN and badger work for this important national road project

  • 2002 – 2007 - The Appleton Group - Michelin Factory Site, Burnley

    PENNINE ecological under contact to The Appleton Group and on behalf of North West Development Agency, implemented a Natural England GCN licence scheme for the re-development of this site for a college and business use. Extensive new habitats were created including ponds and large hibernacula.

  • 2002 – Present - Biffa Waste Services - Withnell Landfill Site, Chorley

    PENNINE Ecological acquired and implemented a Natural England GCN licence scheme for the retention and expansion of this landfill site.

  • 2001 – 2003 - Gillespies - A1(M) Motorway Upgrade Darrington to Dishforth DBFO Project

    PENNINE Ecological undertook baseline ecological surveys for this important Highways Agency upgrade of the A1 in North Yorkshire. This work included ecological surveys, GCN assessment and implantation of mitigation measures for habitats and protected species.

  • 1999 – 2003 - Transco (National Grid) - Samlesbury – Helmhore: 30km New Gas Pipeline

    PENNINE Ecological undertook baseline ecological surveys for this major engineering project across the heart of Lancashire.

    In addition to many other ecological issues we obtained Natural England GCN licences for the project.

    The work involved the installation of over 18km of newt fencing and clearance / exclusion of the species from working areas. 

  • 1996 – Present - Lancashire County Council - Proposed Broughton By-pass, Preston

    PENNINE Ecological have been involved in this scheme from its early planning days in the mid 1990’s. We have undertaken baseline ecological surveys including surveys of approximately 40 ponds alongside the route. We have worked with the project managers and design teams preparing draft licence submissions and extensive mitigation plans including new ponds and road tunnels. The scheme has yet to be taken forward by LCC, however ecological mitigation plans are ready to be implemented once the scheme progresses.

Case Studies

 

Great Crested Newt Gallery