Great crested newts (GCN) are afforded strict protection under the Habitat Regulations, which protect them from harm, disturbance or damage to their breeding and resting places.

To determine whether GCN are likely to be a constraint to a project, we have to undertake sufficient survey effort to confirm presence/absence, in accordance with best practice guidelines, up to 500m from proposed works.

Environmental DNA (eDNA) surveys, a relatively new technique to determine likely presence of Great Crested Newts in waterbodies.

They are a highly effective and useful survey method, particularly where there are a large number of waterbodies across the proposed footprint of a project.

eDNA surveys can be undertaken between 15th April to 30th June, and one survey visit is required per waterbody (compared with 4-6 visits for more traditional survey methods).

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Allison Pritchard