Full Great Crested Newt survey for PondNet

To undertake a full Great Crested Newt survey, you need experience, time and a license, using traditional methods to survey great crested newts, and includes four night-time torching visits.

GCN - hardDrive


The aim is to visit each survey pond in your 1km square four times between April and May to see if Great Crested Newt are present. The survey statistics only need a record of Great Crested Newt presence or absence – not numbers – so as soon as Great Crested Newts are recorded; there is no further need to return to that pond.

This survey requires experience in Great Crested Newt surveying, a survey licence (which can include an existing NARRS licence), and a time commitment to visit your ponds four times in spring, at night. We can provide training in the survey methods used, namely egg-search and torching.

If you already have a license, you can also brush-up your skills using our online information materials.

An average sized pond will take around 1 hr to survey, but longer if the pond is large.


  • Look at our online information, and download the survey forms.
  • Join one of our training courses if you are not already licenced
  • Make four visits to search each pond in your square, evenly spread between April and May.
  • Each visit should include: a visual search for newts and their eggs and ‘torching’ which needs to be undertaken at night. Bottle trapping can also be used if you are already licensed, but is not essential.
  • Enter your records online at the end of the season.

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