Great Crested Newts

Great crested newt. By Natural England/Peter WakelyFollowing on from the Natural Woking strategy and supporting information, the Council is working with Natural England to develop and trial a new approach to support Great Crested Newts (GCN) in the Borough. GCN's are a European protected species whose numbers have declined nationally in recent decades and thus need protecting.

The project launched in May 2016, and in October 2016 environmental consultants, ADAS, were appointed to draft a Habitat Improvement Plan for Westfield Common. This was created in consultation with key stakeholders and marks the first step towards a joined up, landscape-scale approach to GCN conservation in the Borough. More details about this pilot project, including how developers can get involved, can be found in Appendix 10 of the Natural Woking Supporting Information.

The GCN pilot is the first of a series of steps the Council will take towards supporting specific species in the Borough. This is in order to support the UK's achievement of 'favourable conservation status' for its protected habitats and species. The phrase 'favourable conservation status' comes from the Habitats Directive which requires member countries, like the UK, to maintain or restore, at favourable conservation status, particular natural habitats and wild species of flora and fauna.

The projects can also help support the development essential for the Borough's future prosperity in a way that is in harmony with our environment.

If you are a developer or landowner interested to take part in the pilot, please contact the Green Infrastructure team by emailing