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Case Studies

Water & Utilities

Project Name:
Great crested newt survey, Tetbury
Client:
Bristol Water PLC
Year:
Feb 03, 2013
Keywords:
Great crested newt survey, pitfall trapping, bottle trapping, EPS licence
Summary:
Ecosulis were commissioned by Bristol Water to provide ecological advice and support for water mains installation works at Highfield Farm, Tetbury. The main ...

Ecosulis were commissioned by Bristol Water to provide ecological advice and support for water mains installation works at Highfield Farm, Tetbury. The main ecological constraint associated with the site was the presence of great crested newts within adjacent ponds. The water mains work would affect suitable terrestrial habitat for great crested newts (tussocky grassland, hedgerows and stone walls) and therefore was likely to cause an offence under relevant legislation. Update great crested newt surveys were undertaken of the ponds adjacent to the water main works to inform a Natural England great crested newt licence application for the site.

Surveys were conducted using three techniques, including: bottle trapping, torch searching and egg-searching. Four surveys were initially conducted to determine the presence/absence of great crested newts. As great crested newts were recorded in all three ponds, two further surveys were conducted to determine the population size. A maximum of ten great crested newts were recorded in one of the ponds, with lower numbers present in the remaining two ponds. Smooth newts were also recorded in all three ponds.

Following the successful approval of a licence to undertake the works, newt fencing was installed along the route of the pipeline. Pitfall traps were deployed and newt fencing installed and were checked daily for 30 days and then until there were five days with no newts found. All great crested newts and other species that were found in the pitfall traps were moved to adjacent habitats. Following the translocation, a soil strip of the pipeline route was undertaken, with an Ecological Clerk of Works checking the immediate area for great crested newts. Once the pipeline was installed, the trench was filled in and the grassland habitat replaced. Monitoring of the ponds is ongoing to assess the impact that the works have on the newt population in accordance with the licence.

 

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