News From Eight

Great crested newt protected species

Great Crested Newt (GCN) survey season opens – and new approach to GCN licensing in development


The Great Crested Newt (GCN) survey season runs from mid-March to mid-June. Great crested newts are rare across Europe and are protected by law, meaning that disturbance or damage to the newts or their habitat requires a European protected species licence.  Projects with sites that contain a pond or are located within 500m of one, may require a GCN survey – and missing the survey window will cause lengthy delays.

Over the next three years, Natural England is implementing a new approach to Great Crested Newt (GCN) licensing. Currently, licences for this striking amphibian are issued on a site-by-site basis. The new, national approach will make the licensing process more efficient at population level and could reduce the surveys needed and mitigation measures, while still ensuring GCN protection.

The new approach has been piloted in partnership with Woking Borough Council in Surrey, with the aim of bringing the greatest benefits to the amphibians while streamlining the licensing process for housing developers. It will be introduced across the country after its roll-out was announced in February 2017. Call us on 020 7043 0418 to discuss your project with one of Eight Associates’ expert ecologists, and we’ll ensure your survey requirements are conducted in the most efficient and cost-effective way.

Read the government announcement.