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Male Great Crested Newt

Within the Housing White paper yesterday, an important environmental announcement with regards to Natural England Licensing was made available.

The commitment to significantly streamline the European Protected Species licensing process, in particular in respect of Great Crested Newts in yesterday’s white paper is welcomed.  Over the last few years the bureaucracy of the process, at a time of reduced staffing at Natural England, has seen all parties pulling their hair out in frustration.  Additional information can be found in the press release from Gov.UK here.

Prior to yesterday’s announcement, there has been recent encouraging movement with the introduction of the simpler and faster Low Impact Licences for Bats and Great Crested Newts.  At Lockhart Garratt we welcome these changes and have been positively involved in the process, with both our principal consultants now accredited by Natural England for Great Crested Newt Low Impact Licence work.

The changes will not be a carte blanche to trash habitats as might be suggested when one reads articles such as this in today’s Times, but will be a shift in approach to concentrate on conservation of the larger scale species populations, rather than a small scale site by site, newt by newt, approach.

Lockhart Garratt see these changes as a really positive step in the right direction and one that we sought to highlight in our recent series of Ecological Workshops, which will continue in 2017.  Information on our past workshops can be found here in our News section.


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