Great crested newts (GCN) are a fully protected species. Under European and UK law, it is an offence to kill, capture or disturb them, or to damage or destroy their resting places. This protection extends to the habitats that support them.
To establish whether GCN are present, an initial habitat survey is required using the Habitat Suitability Index. Ponds that are identified as having potential to support GCN are then furthered surveyed between March and June, using a variety of methods including egg searches, bottle trapping, using torches, and netting. In addition, Orbis Ecology can provide eDNA testing which involves obtaining samples for analysis from suitable ponds during a single visit.
If GCN are assessed as being present at your site, then it may be necessary to apply for a licence from Natural England, and detailed mitigation measures will be required.