Great Crested Newt Survey (Walkover)

From £399

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The technical term for this survey is a Habitat Suitability Index, for great crested newts. This type of newt survey is done in daylight hours and therefore can be undertaken at any time of year.

Full UK Coverage

Arbtech can complete great crested newt surveys all over the UK.

Unbeatable Price

We can keep prices low due to our experience and efficiency.

Money back guarantee

If your report is not accepted by your planning authority, you get your money back.

Unbeatable Speed

Our business is built around speed. We'll get your survey done quickly.

We SAVE You Money

Our efficiency and expertise has saved our customers tens of millions of pounds in delays on site.

Proven Record

We provide thousands of ecological or arboricultural surveys each year.

How it Works

We know it's important to do your newt survey quickly. Our process aims to complete your survey in the fastest most efficient way possible. Here's how it works:

Fill in the form or call us

We gather information about your project and provide a detailed quote that explains everything.

Give us the go-ahead

We also send you a booking form. Fill this in and send it back in order to get started.

We get to work

Our surveyor gets in touch and arranges a date to complete your newt survey.

Our Clients Say...

Bat Survey

We procured a bat survey from Arbtech in May of this year and are extremely pleased with the tenacity and responsive service we have received. Our surveyor was Martin and I have no hesitation in writing this recommendation as he undertook what proved to be...

5 stars
We did: Bat Survey
BS5837 Tree Survey, Tree Constraints Plan

A fine service and detailed report.

5 stars
We did: BS5837 Tree Survey, Tree Constraints Plan
Scoping Bat Survey (Walkover)

I found Jo to be very knowledgeable and helpful, first class service thank you very much

5 stars
We did: Scoping Bat Survey (Walkover)

Survey Calendar

When can this survey be done?

Jan January - maybe
Feb February - yes
Mar March - yes
Apr April - yes
May May - yes
Jun June - yes
Jul July - yes
Aug August - yes
Sep September - yes
Oct October - yes
Nov November - yes
Dec December - maybe


Learn More

A Habitat Suitability Index is a walkover great crested newt survey. It is a probabilistic assessment, since it is the habitat quality that is being assessed, not the physical presence of the newts themselves. Because it is the habitat that is appraised by our ecologists, and that changes very little in a single year under normal conditions, this type of survey can be done at almost any time of the year.

The cliff notes are that your site will be classified as either poor, excellent or somewhere in between. Anything classified as ‘average’ or better will trigger phase 2 great crested newt surveys. Anything classified as below average or poor will not, suggesting instead that the risk of harm to newts at your site, arising from your development plans, is acceptably low – so as to be considered insignificant. (…Unlike the site below, visited by our surveyor Craig Williams in March of 2014.)

How We Work

Being the customer-centric company that we are, we like to be sure you actually need a great crested newt survey before we even start talking price and timescales. We do this by opening a simple conversation with you, to garner a few key pieces of information about your site that enable us to make an informed recommendation. Normally we’ll ask you for a site plan, and ask you to describe the site in your own words, as well as making use of aerial photography. Of course, it is true that many of you reading this will have already been told by your local planning authority that you need a great crested newt survey to validate your application. That being the case, we can have this sorted for you in a jiffy. All of our ecological consultants are capable of undertaking Habitat Suitability surveys for our amphibious friends and many of us have European protected species licences to assist with newt translocation and mitigation.

Read More

Originally designed by Oldham, et al. (2000), a HSI newt survey involves assessing your site against a set of 10 different habitat criteria that scores values between 0.01 and 1.00. These values are multiplied together and raised to the power 0.1, to produce an index score (a ‘geometric mean’ in geek-speak). The calculations above do not allow for your HSI score to be exactly zero, since the lowest score in any one of the 10 categories assessed is 0.01, as otherwise it would imply that the ecologist knows to a certainty that great crested newts are not present, which however likely, clearly isn’t true in the strictest sense.

However, equally, it is not possible to simply design mitigation (and skip a step) just because the HSI for the site grades the habitat as ‘excellent’. Essentially, the HSI is a useful scoping tool that in the majority of instances can eliminate the need for phase 2 surveys at your site. In the reverse scenario, where your habitat is graded as average or better, you will not be able to progress your planning application without the benefit of and accompanying report of full ‘phase 2’ great crested newt surveys – seasonally limited from mid-March to mid-June.

eDNA Newt Survey

However, in the future it might be possible to determine the presence or absence of great crested newts, by simply taking a sample of the water and sending it off for eDNA analysis, which will dramatically reduce the time it takes to produce your survey and report, to say nothing of probably halving the costs, and within reason, this could be done at any time of the year!

Oldham R.S., Keeble J., Swan M.J.S. & Jeffcote M. (2000). Evaluating the suitability of habitat for the Great Crested Newt (Triturus cristatus). Herpetological Journal 10(4), 143-155.

External Resources