Natural England has launched a new scheme in Lancashire to help conserve local populations of great crested newts whilst promoting sustainable development.
The scheme will create a network of ponds providing vital habitat for the biggest native newt, helping to join up sometimes isolated populations and helping them to thrive.
Great crested newts have seen dramatic declines in their populations over the last 60 years despite being legally protected. The new ‘District Level Licensing’ scheme (DLL) better protects this orange-bellied amphibian by using conservation payments from developers to create new ponds in locations that will benefit the species, although the scheme hasn’t been adopted nationally yet.
Previously, developers had to apply for a mitigation licence before building on or around the places where newts live. Seasonal restrictions on work in places where the newts were present led to delays and uncertainty over the costs and scheduling of planned development.
This new ‘landscape scale’ licensing approach is better for both developers and newts. It provides a faster and more straightforward process than the traditional approach to licensing while helping to provide more homes for newts.
To read the full story click here.
For guidance on what to do if you discover Great Crested Newts on your site use the CIP Environmental Manual.
Apply to join a district level licensing scheme to manage great crested newt (GCN) populations if you are developing land in certain parts of England.
If you are a developer proposing to develop land, you can pay to join a district level licensing scheme. If you join a scheme, you do not need to:
- carry out your own surveys
- plan and carry out mitigation work
District level licensing schemes operate in certain parts of England to better protect great crested newt (GCN) populations. Schemes are operated by either:
- Natural England
- a local planning authority (LPA)
- a third party on behalf of the LPA
Click here for more details and where there is a scheme operating near you.