As an integral part of the proposed District Level Licensing for Great Crested Newt, Natural England gathered an evidence base across England.
This comprised a calculation of habitat suitability using the Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) assessment, with presence or likely absence of great crested newt being determined using eDNA analysis of water samples.
The project involved surveys of 3,700 ponds across the UK in 2019, spread across ten geographical areas with up to 370 ponds in each.
The Ecology Consultancy was commissioned by Natural England early in 2019 to carry out surveys for the Norfolk and Suffolk area.
In some instances the designated pond was dry, so, working proactively and using our local knowledge, we identified alternative ponds nearby. We then contacted the landowners to obtain permission to survey and so ensuring that we surveyed the required number of ponds. The data collected through the Great Crested Newt eDNA pond surveys is now available online as open data, both on the Natural England open data geoportal and on data.gov.uk.