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Time to start thinking about great crested newt and reptile surveys. Reptiles, great crested newt and amphibians

Time to start thinking about great crested newt and reptile surveys

Time to start thinking about great crested newt and reptile surveys

Reptiles, Great crested newt and amphibians

March is a month I look forward to as an ecologist, not just because spring is just around the corner but because it signals the start of the ecological survey season.

Every year, following the bleak, damp, cold winter months and long hours of darkness, the days begin to slowly lengthen and spring flowers begin to show their intentions for the coming season. Spring equals life in a temperature climate and the flowers are the start, following them the tree buds will burst and for many of the UK’s wildlife these signals tell them it is time to wake from the winter slumber.

Soon frog, toads and great crested newts will be moving from their wintering grounds on land to the ponds they need to reproduce. Frogs, toad and newt will be found in the ponds, that for generations, these amphibians have relied upon. New generations of amphibians will be born, with frog and toad spawn and newt eggs being found within the next few weeks.

Of course this new life gives ecologists the opportunity to study amphibians, as the remainder of the year they are hunting, sheltering and moving around on land, where it is all-most impossible to find them.

Reptiles such as slow worm, common lizard and grass snake will also be waking from their slumber. Although not requiring a still water body for reproduction, they, like amphibians, require a reasonable temperature to start moving around. Typically this is seen as 9oC in the UK for reptiles. In periods of poor weather they will hunker down again until it improves.

As the days get longer and sun warms the earth, reptiles and amphibians will be moving around and this provides an opportunity for ecologists to get out of the house and start doing what they love so much, finding and recording wildlife.

For developers, architects and planning consultants in the UK, now is the time to get organized and start looking at getting surveys instructed to prevent delays in the future ‘Forearmed is Forewarned’ as the saying goes and this couldn’t be more true with ecological surveys.

If you are a planning consultant, developer, architect or home owner thinking about starting your project in the coming months and you have ponds, rough grassland, woodland or parkland close by, give Cherryfield Ecology a ring to discuss the ecological constraints that may be a future issue.


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