Natural England and Woking Borough Council have launched a pilot scheme to explore whether a new system can be implemented to save developers time and money whilst providing more comprehensive mitigation and compensation for great crested newts. The main changes will include:
great crested newt conservation
At a time that most ecological consultants are out undertaking great crested newt surveys and developers are squeezing in last minute commissions for 2016 the BBC News and Ecosulis are also considering what the future holds for this European Protected Species (EPS).
Great crested newts (Tritiurus cristatus) are well known within ecological consultancy as they are a protected species which often crop up within areas of proposed development. They are sensitive creatures which are vulnerable to water changes and therefore suffer due to natural forces including; ponds overgrowing, shallowing and eutrophication, as well as non-natural forces; industrial water pollution, destruction and drainage of ponds, introduced predatory fish and habitat fragmentation. But there may be another force to add into the mix…
Environmental DNA (eDNA) is DNA which is collected from water in which plants or animals live rather than from the organism directly. A method has been developed in ponds in the UK to use eDNA to determine presence or absence of Great Crested Newts within a waterbody.
Great crested newts on your development site can sometimes be seen as an inconvenience and a problem. They can cause additional expense and delays to construction programmes as they have specific seasonal constraints. However, if handled the right way they don’t have to be. They can even add value to your development.