We are working with Natural England to develop and trial a new approach to support great crested newts (GCN) into the area. GCN's are a European protected species whose numbers have declined in recent decades.
A pilot project to help with GCN conservation has been set up, which also reduces delay and costs for developers. You can read the project methodology and conservation strategy for great crested newts, including how you can get involved, in chapter 10 of our Natural Woking supporting information document.
The first location for habitat improvements for GCN is Westfield Common. This is the first of a series of steps we are taking towards supporting specific species in the area as part of the UK's wider commitment to the Habitats Directive.
The Woking great crested newt pilot project is in its fifth year of habitat improvements at Westfield Common. Works were completed on site in January and February 2020 to construct new and restore existing ponds. A report explaining these and the outcomes of the fourth year of the project is available below.
These improvements are in addition to the continuing complementary conservation work of local volunteers, guided by Surrey Wildlife Trust, in line with the wider management plan for the common.
Natural England's pilot
Natural England is rolling out the licensing approach used in our Woking pilot project to other areas around the country.
Feature article in professional magazine
An article about the project’s first five years was published in ‘In Practice’, the magazine of The Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM), a leading professional membership body representing ecologists and environmental managers in the UK.
If you’re a developer or landowner interested in taking part in the pilot, or if you’d like to volunteer on the project, please email our green infrastructure team.