Great Crested Newts and District Level Licencing
There are now a few different ways to apply for a licence from Natural England to do development or other work that may affect great crested newts and find out how much you may need to pay. These include:
- Norfolk and Suffolk have a district level licensing scheme, a quicker and simpler option to applying for a GCN mitigation licence. Find out more below.
- Apply for a GCN Mitigation Licence
- Or via an ecologist who is a registered consultant under Natural England's low-impact class licence scheme.
Benefits of district level licensing
In a nutshell district level licensing:
- Better conserves great crested newts.
- Is simple to use.
- Offers developers certainty in terms of costs and timescales.
- Means developments that have been through planning will not be held up by protracted post-planning licensing.
- Results in lots of high value, secure ponds for newts which are managed and monitored for the long term.
The cost to join the district level licensing scheme
Natural England have put together an explanatory note to explain the breakdown of fees and how they calculate the cost to join the scheme, together with some examples.
In autumn 2019, Natural England ran a series of webinars with the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) to provide more information on district level licensing:
- District Level Licensing: How the NE-led scheme works– scheme overview
- District Level Licensing: eDNA Survey and Data Collection – evidence base #1
- District Level Licensing: Species Distribution Modelling– evidence base #2
- District Level Licensing: Habitat Delivery for the NE-led scheme
- District Level Licensing: How to apply – does what it says!
Data open to all
As part of the district level licensing project, Natural England completed the largest ever survey of its type for great crested newts across England, funded by the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG). The data is open and has been published to ArcGIS Online and is available at Data.gov.uk. Read their gov.uk blog to find out more.
Other things of interest
Read more about Natural England’s Geography in Government Award for their species distribution modelling for the district level licensing project.