This course is now fully booked.

The course provides a balance of classroom and field-based sessions for those interested in acquiring a great crested newt licence. Coursework covers: species identification, the legislative framework and the ecology of great crested newts. Practical sessions will give participants hands-on experience of the relevant survey methods and practice in habitat assessment.

As September would not expect to be finding large numbers of amphibians, but we would hope to find a range of species, including GCN, in low numbers.

Tutor: Jim Fairclough

Jim Fairclough is Principal Ecologist with BSG Ecology, specialising in applied ecology with a particular interest in freshwater habitats. Over the past fifteen years, Jim has been directly involved in great crested newt mitigation projects at a diverse range of sites across England and Wales. His main responsibility has been for licence applications and subsequent management of great crested newt mitigation projects in the field. Jim has provided training on great crested newt survey and mitigation for nearly ten years.

Example Timetable

Afternoon: Starts at 16.00pm Course Introduction, Construct Bottle Traps
Evening: Bio-Security Measures, Install Bottle Traps (Practical), Newt Identification (Presentation)

Morning: Recover Traps (Practical), Survey Techniques – (Presentation), Newt Habitat – (Presentation), Habitat Suitability Index (HSI)
Afternoon: Egg Search, HSI, Install Bottle Traps & Dewsburys (Practical), Calculate Hsi Scores
Evening: Torching (Practical

Morning: Retrieve Traps & Study Captures (Practical), Collate Results, Review
Afternoon: Assessment (Optional)

What's Included

  • Expert Tuition
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Full Board Accommodation
  • Hot and Cold Drinks
  • In Course Transport
  • Personal and Travel Insurance

Before You Attend

What to bring

    • 10 x 2 litre cylinder shaped plastic bottles (supermarket own brand mineral water bottles are usually the least expensive)
    • 12 x garden canes (approx 1m long)
    • Warm and waterproof clothes including wellington boots (we will be working outside at night)
    • Sandwich box, vacuum flask and small rucksack or bag
    • If you already have them, it would also be useful to bring
    • A pair of chest or thigh waders
    • A powerful torch (500,000 or 1,000,000 candle power) and charger unit
    • A hand lens (x10)
    • A digital camera with close-up (macro) facility.

Please be willing to share:

  • Photographs, sketches, material examples, stories etc. concerning your own newt-related experiences.


Useful Books

  • Great crested newt guidelines 2001, English Nature.
  • Herpetofauna Worker’s Manual (Gent and Gibson, 1998).
  • Langton, T.E.S., Beckett, C.L., and Foster, J.P. (2001), Great Crested Newt Conservation Handbook, Froglife, Halesworth.