2010 looks to have been a seminal year for Ecosulis, with everyone on the team looking forward to the benefits and challenges that will come with the opening of a new regional office in Exeter and the expansion of EIA and innovation services. It was also a year to reflect upon our successes of past work, for example the completion of a great crested newt mitigation strategy for Magna Park Management and Gazeley Limited.
The project involved designing and implementing a mitigation strategy to maintain a favourable conservation status for a population of great crested newts inhabiting three ponds within a former airfield, which has since been developed into Europe’s largest dedicated distribution park. Five new ponds were created in 1999, 2002 and 2006. Ongoing enhancements to these and the original ponds resulted in the new ponds not only being colonised by the newts, but also exceeded our expectations in all becoming breeding ponds.
With 2010 being the final year of monitoring at the site, results indicate that our mitigation scheme has been a success, and that the breeding population may even be expanding, with an overall increase in population size of more than 50% since monitoring began in 2002.
We pride ourselves in designing creative ecological mitigation schemes, tailored to best suit our client’s needs. With the expansion of the company as a whole we’re looking forward to moving into a new season of newt monitoring and surveying with a stronger team than ever.
More information on great crested newts can be found on a dedicated page of our website found here.
With the survey season for this species fast encroaching, it would be prudent to start thinking about initial presence/absence surveys now. Habitat suitability index surveys can be carried out at any time of year (although some elements are optimal in spring) and are the best way to provisionally ascertain the risk imposed by great crested newts if any water bodies are present within or in close proximity to a development area.
If you wish to discuss any aspect of ecological mitigation with one of our senior ecologists, including great crested newt surveys, please don’t hesitate to give us a call or email us at any time.