Quick Contact: Click to contact us now.

You can contact Stuart Spray Wildlife Consultant at the following addresses:

England: 9 Basford Road, Manchester M16 0FT

Scotland: SSWC. Laundry Cottage, Clarencefield, Dumfries, DG1 4NA

Phone: 07894 081164

Or you can use the form below – just fill in the fields and click Submit.

Close this form »
mobile-menu mobile-menu-arrow Menu

Great-crested Newt and Natterjack Toad Surveys

Stuart Spray Wildlife Consultancy is fully licensed to conduct great-crested newt and natterjack toad surveys throughout northern England and Scotland.

We also provide specialist services in the survey, mitigation, training and research for all amphibians and reptiles found in the UK.

Protection in the UK is afforded to all amphibians and reptiles under Schedules 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 as amended by the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004 in Scotland and the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (CRoW) in England.

As a ‘European Protected Species’, further protection is afforded to natterjack toad, great-crested newt, smooth snake and sand lizard under the Regulation 39 of the Conservation (Natural Habitats etc.) Regulations 1994.

Great Crested Newt Habitat Suitability Index

All ponds identified within 500m of a development are initially assessed for suitability to support breeding great crested newts using the Habitat Suitability Index developed by Oldham (2001).

The index relies on the collection of 10 variables:

1.Location (in Britain)
2.Pond Area
3.Desiccation Rate (years out of 10 that pond dries)
4.Water Quality (subjective assessment)
5.% Shade
6.Number of Waterfowl
7.Fish Population (subjective assessment)
8.Number of Ponds within 1km
9.Terrestrial Habitat Quality
10.% Macrophyte Cover

These 10 variables were selected by Oldham on the basis of their established or presumed importance to great crested newt survival, and for ease of field determination. The effect of each variable on great crested newts is considered separately and expressed as a Suitability Index (SI) on a scale from 0-1. The ten Suitability Indices are then combined using a geometric mean to derive the Habitat Suitability Index (HSI).

Great Crested Newt Pond Surveys

A pond with a great crested newt Habitat suitability Index (HSI)  of over 0.6 should be surveyed by a licensed great crested newt worker on at least three separate visits for presence of great crested newt by:

Natterjack Toad  (and Other Amphibians)

All pond and refugia habitat within 250m of the development site boundary are surveyed for evidence of natterjack toad and/or other amphibians by:


To determine presence or likely absence of reptile species, a minimum of seven survey visits between mid/late March and late June and/or between late August and late September is recommended during appropriate weather conditions.

Adult reptiles should be located by searching under potential refugia such as stones, logs and debris such as sheets of metal.

Artificial refugia should be placed in suitably sunny areas of the site and regularly checked over the survey period looking for basking reptiles on top of and resting reptiles under the refugia.

In This Section