Great Crested Newts
The need for fencing regions inhabited by Great Crested Newts is generally identified by ecologists at the planning stage of any project. At this point, Knighton can install drift fencing and pitfall traps to Natural England Specifications in order for the newts to be trapped and counted. Once the population numbers are established, then mitigation and compensation measures can be put in place, again as specified by Natural England.
These include excluding and relocating the newts on a small scale and creating, restoring or improving habitats on the site or next to it. If there is a major and unavoidable impact, then the newts can be translocated to an appropriate receptor site with the same or better habitat. Because newts live both in water and on land, it is important that contractors fully understand the requirements for enhancing the habitat on receptor sites. Knighton have been in the business of protection of and mitigation for Great Crested Newts for nearly thirty years, but from the senior foremen to the apprentices, we still feel the same excitement when we encounter these amazing creatures.
Knighton Countryside Management Ltd’s strength is our capacity to carry out all aspects of mitigation work, and also our genuine interest in and care for endangered species. Over the years we have learned how to put together teams that have the skills, the equipment, and the passion, to install a range of mitigation measures. Whatever an ecologist requires, we will find a way to make it happen.
To ensure that individual newts are not injured or killed by development activities, it may be necessary to enclose the site in a newt proof fence, trap the individuals within the site and/or remove them to a suitable release site. As the great crested newt is a European strictly protected fauna species, erection of newt fencing or any capture of the animals requires a licence, and Knighton Countryside always carry out mitigation measures under the supervision of an ecologist.
Newt fencing has become the generic term for types of wildlife barrier fencing and is often used to refer to fencing for other species as well. The specifications of the fencing can differ depending on the wildlife involved, but the systems are similar whether the barrier is for Great Crested Newts, reptiles, other amphibians or even water voles. The fencing can be used as part of a trapping system for surveying, or for translocating creatures prior to clearing a site for development, by using pitfall traps placed at the foot of the fence. Newt fencing can also be called drift fencing, temporary amphibian fencing (TAF) or reptile fencing.
Newt fencing types
Mitigation fencing is either needed for relatively short periods – temporary fencing – or for longer periods. The temporary fencing is often constructed from timber stakes and plastic, or from timber stakes and geotextile, and is the most economical option in the short term. However, over longer periods the maintenance and repair costs tend to cost more than the intial savings, and semi permanent or permanent rigid fencing is a good alternative. If you are unsure what would be best for your project then we are happy to give you a quotation covering both types. More information can be found here.
Grids, Gates and Crossings
Installing newt and reptile fencing is reasonably straightforward, and because we carry lots of stock and have trained teams on hand, Knighton can be there to do it whenever the licence is ready. Unfortunately, many sites have access points, ditches and pipelines which break the continuity of the fence line, and solutions for this can require some creative thinking and expertise. We make our own newt grids, which are inserted into the ground like miniature cattle grids, and these can be made and fitted for any access point.