What we do

Middlemarch Environmental have a large team of experienced, licensed newt surveyors who are able to undertake all aspects of great crested newt survey, mitigation design and licensing. Great crested newts are generally a consideration for projects where ponds are present within a 500 m radius of the site boundary.

Great Crested Newt Surveys

The need for great crested newts surveys will generally be identified at the time that a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal is carried out. Types of great crested newt survey that may be required include:

  • Habitat suitability index (HSI) assessments.
  • Presence/absence survey and population assessment, including torchlight surveys, bottle/funnel trapping, refuge searches and egg searches.
  • eDNA Sampling.

HSI assessments can be undertaken throughout the year, however Presence/Absence Surveys can only be undertaken during suitable weather conditions between mid-March and mid-June, with at least two visits timed to occur between mid-April and mid-May.

Great Crested Newt Mitigation & Licensing

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For sites where the presence of great crested newts is confirmed, an assessment will be made of the potential impacts of the development. Should a potential breach of legislation be identified, works will need to be controlled by a development licence from Natural England.

Middlemarch have extensive experience of designing and implementing great crested newt mitigation, and have been the named ecologist on a large number of development licences throughout the UK.

District Level Licensing

Introduced in 2016, District Level Licensing (DLL) is an alternative approach to site by site great crested newt licensing as part of the development process. DLL schemes are operated by either Natural England, a local planning authority (LPA) or by a third party on behalf of the LPA. As DLL is progressively being rolled out, the availability of recourse to this approach depends on where a development is taking place.

DLL requires district-wide survey of the distribution of great crested newts and assessment of likely impacts on them from planned development over the local plan period. It is intended to streamline the planning process and to be particularly applicable to phased developments.

DLL depends upon the restoration of existing ponds and creation of new ponds for great crested newts. Strategic Opportunity Areas (SOA) identify where GCN habitat would be best created or restored to provide strategic net gain.
Where a DLL scheme exists, developers can pay a financial contribution to enter into the DLL scheme to help meet the cost of creating compensatory habitat and also a 25 year monitoring indemnity fund to assess pond occupancy and habitat connectivity.

Middlemarch Environmental helps developers with licence application, survey, mitigation and habitat design, creation and restoration. We also support local authorities in their duty as DLL licensees in assessing developer applications.

Additional Services

We also provide the following services:

  • Great crested newt trapping and translocation works
  • Population monitoring
  • Ecological clerk of works
  • Habitat creation and enhancent