eDNA water sample for Great Crested Newts

eDNA (environmental DNA) surveys for Great Crested Newt involve collecting a water sample from a pond, followed by analysis in a specialist lab. It’s a new and exciting way to find out if Great Crested Newts are using a pond, by seeing if their DNA is present.

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© Piet Spaans (CC BY-SA 2.5 – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5/)

Survey confirmed for 2017 survey season – no more volunteers required.


This is an easy survey to undertake, and you can learn the skills needed from our information sheet, and the online video. An average sized pond will take around half an hour to sample (longer if the pond is large), and an extra 30 mins to fill in the accompanying Pond Habitat Survey form.


  • eDNA kits will be delivered to you in May by your regional officer.
  • Collect a water sample from each survey pond in your 1km square, and complete an eDNA Survey form and a Pond Habitat Survey form. You can see how to do this using the online video.
  • Freepost the kits back to us or give them back to your local officer (we’ll arrange collection in June), along with the eDNA Survey Form and the Pond Habitat Survey form.
  • Your samples will be couriered to France and analysed by SpyGen, who are international leaders in the field of eDNA, to see if Great Crested Newts were present in the pond.
  • We’ll email everyone’s results back to them in September, and enter the data online for you.

Find everything you need to join in on our Volunteer Starter Pack and PondNet Survey Option pages.

Contact us for further information: peoplepondswater@freshwaterhabitats.org.uk