There are about six native amphibian species in Britain, two of which are fully protected by law. DCE Ltd has the licences which are necessary to survey and handle these species.
One of these, the great crested newt, occurs with particular frequency on sites which are being considered for development in South Wales. Great crested newt, along with natterjack toad, is fully protected under both UK and European law, and that protection extends both to the animal itself and to the habitats which support it.
Great crested newt spends much of its time on land, typically foraging for invertebrates in dank, shaded habitats such as woodlands, marshes, hedgerows and rank grasslands in the summer, and hibernating in winter in terrestrial refugia such as within rock crevices, walls and decayed logs, underground in loose substrates and rubble, or deep in vegetation masses such as leaf-litter or dense grass tussocks etc.
Breeding normally takes place in spring and early summer in still, unpolluted waters such as field ponds, lakes and standing ditches, which are used habitually every year. Favoured breeding ponds are typically quite nutrient-rich, contain abundant vegetation and are often stock-poached, although there is great variation.
Our team includes licensed ecologists with over 25 years’ experience of working with great crested newt and other amphibians.
We frequently undertake bottle-trapping, netting and torch surveys, as well as drift-fencing and pitfall-trap surveys. We have extensive experience of the Welsh Government and Natural England licence application procedures, and can provide and implement detailed mitigation strategies including site clearance and translocation, newt tunnels and newt fencing.