28 Oct 2019 Sharing Good Practice: Great Crested Newt Training for Natural England
BSG Ecology’s Peter Newbold and Sarah Joscelyne recently delivered training aimed at providing recent Natural England recruits with a better understanding of the practicalities of survey and mitigation for great crested newts. The training was delivered over two days at O&H Hampton’s Crown Lakes and Western Peripheral Road sites, where BSG has been overseeing mitigation and habitat creation aimed at various species under a multi-species project-wide mitigation licence.
Initial training covered eDNA survey and other standard survey techniques required to determine population size (torching, bottle trapping etc), with the second day devoted to thinking about mitigation design. As part of the training, Natural England were shown the award winning habitat at Western Peripheral Road created by O&H following advice from BSG. Here the mosaic of permanent and seasonal ponds and the terrestrial habitats that surround them have resulted in the conversion of an arable field with no breeding suitability to waterbodies and terrestrial habitat, which combined, support over 200 breeding adult great crested newts.
Both Peter and Sarah are experienced, licensed great crested newt surveyors. Peter has also been the named ecologist on numerous great crested newt mitigation licences.
The training was attended by twelve Natural England recent recruits. Harriet Billanie from Natural England said:
“The sessions were helpful in bringing GCN mitigation approaches to life; seeing how decisions are made with regard to how to survey ponds, and looking at pitfall traps and fencing were really useful in helping create a clear picture of what happens on the ground. It was also great to be able to tap in to BSG’s varied experiences working with different developers and on different sites surveying and implementing mitigation for the species.”
BSG Ecology and Natural England are grateful to O&H Hampton for facilitating the training.
If you need support with regard to great crested newt survey or mitigation, please get in touch with one of our offices.