Newts may be termed as the particular amphibians that live on land as well as in water. Britain’s largest newt has experienced a considerable decline in its numbers. One of the four major amphibians, i.e. a species of great significance in England under the Natural Environment and Rural Communities (NERC) Act 2006; it holds great importance. You may come across the great crested newt throughout mainland Britain. However they exist in less numbers in the far south-west of England, west Wales and northern Scotland. Fully protected as per the laws because of great decline during the latter half of the twentieth century; the relevant decrease in their numbers has occurred majorly because of loss of ponds and habitat fragmentation.
Protection – It is worth noting that the common and palmate newts are not protected well as per the law in the UK as compared to the great crested newts. The latter are fully protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) and the Conservation of Species and Habitats Regulations 2010 (as amended). The law prohibits killing, injuring, disturbing or capturing a great crested newt in deliberate manners. Those found damaging, obstructing or destroying any place meant for protection and shelters of great crested newt are liable for prosecution under the law. Persons conducting great crested newt surveys, i.e. the ecologists are authorized to do so. They are at liberty to disturb them as a part of the mitigation program that allows them to handle or capture the great crested newts under the law.
Offence – Those found guilty of breaking the law are liable to pay a fine of up to £5,000 apart from imprisonment of up to six months per offence. It may be noted that any vehicle found implicated in such an act of law-breaking is liable for impounding. The company and individual(s) will have to face the consequences in the shape of fine and imprisonment or as ordered by the authorities.
Consultation – It would be wise to approach the qualified consultants that render valuable advice for the great crested newt. They are equipped with the requisite knowledge about protection and conservation of great crest newt. The intending persons can seek their assistance and get proper information about habitat enhancement, mitigation work and field surveys etc as far as great crested newt are concerned.
Different projects – The qualified and experienced ecologists work on varied rural and urban development projects that include the following:
- Estimates for all ponds within a radius of 500m of four varied sections of the M25 motorway. This is done with a view for providing information about the existing widening scheme in respect of the great crested newt population.
- Analysis like the Great crested newt surveys of golf course ponds and farmlands for informing about the expansion of a Goals Soccer Centre in south-east London.
- Project regarding translocation program in respect of the 9ha site existing in East Sussex for the proposed combined utilization residential and retail development.
- Restoration of pond for Peter, Lord Melchett in respect of his organic farm in Norfolk.
One must follow the existing laws in respect of Great Crested Newts to avoid complications, fine and imprisonment. This is what the authorities expect from the noble and wise citizens.