Newt Surveys

When are Newt Surveys Required?

Newt Surveys are often required on sites where suitable breeding habitat such as ponds or areas of standing water occurs on-site or within 200m of the site boundary. Assessment of the likelihood of the presence of newts on site are included within Preliminary Ecological Appraisals (PEAs) and Extended Phase 1 Habitat Surveys as standard and these assessments may result in the requirement for a more detailed (Phase 2) Newt Survey.

What is involved in Newt Surveys?

A Newt Survey involves a daytime search for Newts in refugia within 200m of a suitable waterbody, including areas of woodland, scrub, rough grassland and within walls and hedges. Usually, 4 nighttime survey visits are required between mid-March and mid-June to establish an acceptable level of confidence in results.

These surveys can only be conducted under a site-specific licence issued by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA). Surveys must be conducted in accordance with NIEA specific survey requirements (available here) and the British Standard (BS 42020:2013) – Biodiversity: Code of Practice for Planning and Development.

In the event that newts are confirmed as being present, an additional 2 survey visits will be required to provide an estimate of population size.

Pond with water lilies
Newts are found in or near ponds

What if Newts are found on-site?

In the event that Newts are found on-site or within 200m of the site boundary, a Newt Mitigation Plan may be required. Where newt habitat is to be lost as part of a development compensatory habitat is likely to be required and translocation of the existing population of Newts will have to take place under a site-specific licence from NIEA. Our ecologists can advise on pragmatic and cost-effective solutions to minimise delays and unnecessary costs for your project.

Cost: From £1,200*

*NOTE: The costs quoted above may vary for larger or more complex sites or for greater travelling distances. All quoted figures are exclusive of and are subject to VAT.

The costs quoted above are based upon a standard survey comprising 1 daytime and 4 nighttime survey visits.