BSG Ecology has an in-house team of experienced specialists in great crested newt survey, assessment and European Protected Species (EPS) licensing. We undertake large scale and high profile great crested newt mitigation schemes. Our experience and understanding of great crested newt ecology provides us with an in-depth knowledge of the distribution of this species in relation to different geographical areas. Our team can quickly identify situations where the presence of great crested newt requires consideration. We use our technical knowledge to find innovative solutions to complex problems.
Great Crested Newt Capability
There is a wealth of great crested newt survey experience within BSG Ecology with survey licence holders permitted to legally trap, handle and relocate great crested newts. For larger schemes, we are also able to draw upon our well-established network of reliable sub-contractors. This allows us to complete surveys and large-scale great crested newt mitigation work across the UK whilst remaining cost-effective.
We employ a wide range of survey techniques including:
- Initial site appraisal using Habitat Suitability Index (HSI)
- Presence/absence surveys following the great crested newt mitigation guidelines (i.e. bottle trapping, torching, netting and searching of refugia)
- Population size class assessments
- Monitoring surveys required by licensing bodies as a condition of development licences
Licenced mitigation work is key to the successful resolution of many great crested newt issues. BSG Ecology prepares and implements mitigation and translocation strategies, and has a good track record in securing EPS licences allowing such works to proceed. Our experience and capability includes the following:
- Identification of suitable receptor sites
- Site based advice and supervision of habitat creation and restoration works (including great crested newt ponds, terrestrial habitat and hibernacula)
- Hand-searches and watching briefs
- Development and supervision of the erection of amphibian exclusion fencing schemes
- Tool box talks to site staff and contractors
- Pitfall trapping and refuge searching
- Temporary care and transport of great crested newts (and other amphibian species)
- Post-mitigation monitoring and advice
We help clients to take account of great crested newts in the design of a project at an early stage to help avoid conflicts. Our staff keep abreast of emerging research, biosecurity measures, policies, statutory agency technical updates and guidance and regularly attend conferences, seminars and workshops to ensure that we provide up to date advice and solutions to our clients.
Our consultancy services include:
- Desk-based studies and consultation
- Advice on legal protection afforded to great crested newt and the EPS licensing process
- Stakeholder liaison and negotiation
- Bespoke great crested newt mitigation, compensation and monitoring strategies from design to practical implementation
- Input to and/or preparation of great crested newt masterplans
- Preparation of method statements to support EPS licence applications and co-ordination of licence submissions
- Habitat enhancement and management plans for development and conservation led projects
Project examples and professional references can be provided on request.