Great crested newt mitigation scheme, Chester (2015)

Once again I find myself picking newts out of buckets – this time for a consultancy based in the East Midlands who not surprisingly weren’t keen for their staff to waste hours in the car every morning when they could just ask me to pop over to the site and deal with it instead 🙂

This was the smallest great crested newt mitigation scheme I have ever worked on.  The approach to great crested newt mitigation has been somewhat unusual in that 99% of the land affected by the project was arable land, generally considered unfavourable for newts, so it was decided that only habitats favourable for newts would be trapped out.  In this phase of the development, that consisted of a small bramble patch and an area of grassland with an adjacent rubble pile.  Together, these areas took about half an hour to check under the various carpet tiles and in the pitfall traps.

One would think that any self-respecting newt would be using the nice-looking grassland, but no, in fact I didn’t catch anything there at all, not even a frog, and all the action was over at the unpromising-looking bramble patch…..

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Above is an adult female great crested newt.  I retrieved her from a pitfall trap on a chilly morning and gave her a little time to warm up and become active before placing her safely under cover outside the site boundary.

All pitfall trapping was completed under a Natural England licence and in accordance with welfare guidance contained in the Great Crested Newt Mitigation Guidelines.

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