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Great Crested Newts

great crested newt

Great crested newts (GCNs) breed in many areas of open water in the Borough, both rural and urban, including ponds, lakes, canals and ditches. They spend much of their time out of water, foraging in the surrounding habitats (rough grassland, hedgerows, scrub and woodland) and sheltering and hibernating under logs, rocks etc.

The Great Crested Newt is the largest of the British newts and, in the breeding season adult males are recognisable by their jagged crest and silvery-blue and almost fluorescent stripe down the centre of the tail.

The Great Crested Newt is widespread in Europe but is threatened and in decline throughout much of its range.

Britain has probably Europe's largest population and is, therefore, very important to the continuing survival of the Great Crested Newt. 


GCNs, their breeding ponds, and their places of shelter are protected in the UK under The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended). GCNs are also classed as European Protected Species under the Conservation (Natural Habitats, etc.) Regulations 1994. Taken together, the legislation make it an offence to:

  • intentionally or deliberately take, injure or kill a great crested newt (at any life stage, including eggs);
  • intentionally or recklessly disturb a great crested newt;
  • intentionally or recklessly damage, destroy or obstruct access to any place used for breeding, shelter or protection by a great crested newt;
  • possess, sell exchange or transport a great crested newt (deal or alive), or any part of a great crested newt.

Last updated 23/09/2014

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Environmental Projects Team

Telford & Wrekin Council Development Plans & Sustainability

Address: Darby House
Lawn central

Tel: 01952 384384


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