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Ecology surveys Amphibian surveys

Amphibian surveys

Great crested newt (GCN) surveys may be required if potentially suitable aquatic or terrestrial habitat exists within or near to a proposed development. The first step is to establish whether suitable habitat is present by conducting a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) Assessment.

If suitable habitat is found, further surveys will be carried out to confirm the presence or absence of GCN, and where present, to inform population estimates. We are currently trialling the use of environmental DNA (E-DNA) sampling techniques to detect the presence of GCN, a pioneering technique that will potentially reduce the amount of survey effort and associated costs.

Our GCN surveys and mitigation strategies are guided by best practice, including Amphibian and Reptile Groups of the UK (ARG UK) Advice Note 5, English Nature (now Natural England) Great crested newt mitigation guidelines and the Natural England Standing Advice. If populations cannot be retained in situ, our great crested newt specialists can carry out translocations and will provide guidance on minimising ecological risk. To allow works to proceed lawfully, we can apply for the development licences necessary, on your behalf.

Where suitable terrestrial or aquatic habitat is present, we can also conduct presence/absence surveys for natterjack toad. Our surveys are based on best practice guidelines including the Herpetological Conservation Trust (HCT) survey protocol and Natural England Standing Advice.

Amphibian surveys

To support and enhance your development, we will use our specialised knowledge to determine realistic and cost-effective mitigation and compensatory measures, ensuring compliance with applicable legislation and planning policy.