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This week marks the start of the Great Crested Newt Survey Season for Seasons Ecology…

March 20, 2014 Kate Hayward Company NewsEcological ConsultancyIndustry Update

We donned our waders earlier this week and carried out our first newt survey of the season.  It was a cool 7°C and quite breezy, but there was plenty going on in the ponds.  A few toads and common newts, moorhens, ducks and rather too many goldfish!  It’s a sure sign of spring and warmer weather to come when the car becomes filthy with pond mud and is seemingly permanently loaded up with bottle-traps!

Seasons Ecology issued an Industry Update earlier this year regarding Natural England’s review of their Standing Advice for Great Crested Newts.  This advice was re-issued in autumn 2013 and extended to include European Protected Species, including great crested newts.  Where the new Great Crested Newt (and other European Protected Species) Standing Advice differs to previous Standing Advice (which was aimed at species protected by domestic legislation only) is by highlighting the responsibility of Local Planning Authorities to consider  the likelihood of a European Protected Species Licence in respect to development being granted by Natural England if required.  The Local Planning Authority must be satisfied that a licence will be granted prior to granting planning permission.  This means that surveys for great crested newts may be required in order to determine a planning application if there is suitable habitat on or adjacent to the site.  Considering the small window for surveys (mid-march to mid-June), applications submitted without this information could be delayed by nine months or more.  You can find full details of the Standing Advice here.

The Seasons Ecology team have also spotted a few brave bats out and about although the weather is set to turn cooler by the end of this week.  You can find out more information on the survey seasons on our tools and downloads pages.

batsgreat crested newtGreat crested newt surveysurvey seasons

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Seasons Ecology Limited Directors: K M Hayward MCIEEM & H M Maben MCIEEM
Registered Address: 69 High Street, Bideford, Devon, EX39 2AT
Company No: 11258906