Great Crested Newts

Great crested newts begin to reduce their activity levels between September and mid-October, with full hibernation starting in November.

These newts will spend the winter hidden on land, typically in features such as rock piles, dead wood or tree stump crevices. Usually these sites are part of woodlands within sighting distance of the main pond, although some newts choose to hibernate in the undergrowth of pond perimeter vegetation.

Given the typical hibernation sites, it is usually only large scale development or clearance works which risk disturbing great crested newt in winter. However, works sites that contain or are nearby to ponds should always consider the possibility that great crested newts could be present and adjust their work plans accordingly.

  • If ponds are present in or near the work site, an initial survey should be carried out by a competent ecologist to determine habitat suitability index (HSI) scores for each pond.
  • If the HSI scores indicate that a pond would be highly suitable for great crested newts, a series of presence/absence surveys should be conducted by an ecologist.
  • A mitigation licence will be required from Natural England if planned works will destroy confirmed great crested newt habitat or populations.

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