Great Crested Newts

The Council is working with Natural England to trial a new approach to support Great Crested Newts (GCN) in Woking Borough. GCN are protected as their numbers have declined nationally in recent decades.

The aim is to take a proactive landscape-wide approach to protecting this species, focusing conservation where it will best support overall local GCN populations.

The pilot offers a range of benefits for both conservation and development, the latter through a streamlined licencing process and simplified survey requirements.

Natural England has prepared a local conservation strategy for GCN which, together with the views of key stakeholders, informed the project's design. The Natural Woking Supporting Information explains both the conservation strategy and project methodology, including how developers can get involved.

The Council is working with ecological consultants ADAS to deliver habitat improvements through an initial five year Habitat Improvement Plan for Westfield Common, prepared in consultation with local people and key stakeholders. In line with this, habitat improvements are taking place on the Common each winter.

For more information, if you'd like to volunteer to help GCN habitat works or surveys, or would like your development to take part in the pilot, please contact green@woking.gov.uk or call 01483 743888.