eDNA Analysis for Great Crested Newt

Environmental DNA (eDNA) analysis was approved by Natural England (NE) in 2014 for the determination of Great Crested Newt (GCN) presence or absence. NE only accept eDNA results from laboratories participating in the proficiency testing scheme to support GCN license applications and post-development presence/absence monitoring for mitigation licences.

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Why choose ADAS?

Quick Turnaround

  • Super fast-track to non-priority services available (minimum 2 day turn around)
  • Results sent as soon as they are ready regardless of turnaround time chosen.
  • We will always try to meet your requirements where possible.

Tiered Pricing System


  • ADAS was involved in the peer review of the technical advice note in 2014 and we strictly adhere to this guidance.
  • ADAS has CORRECTLY IDENTIFIED all ‘blind’ samples as positive, negative, or indeterminate during the 2017, 2018 and 2019 eDNA proficiency testing schemes (the 2020 scheme is underway with results expected by the end of February). 
  • Outside of the survey season we research other species and areas of improvement to GCN eDNA analysis, publishing several papers in peer reviewed journals (Harper et al. 2018a; Harper et al. 2018bRees et al. 2017; Rees et al. 2015; Rees et al. 2014a; Rees et al. 2014b).
  • Training in eDNA sampling and other ecology advice can be provided by our in house ecologists, please email ecology@adas.co.uk

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Related pages:

Watch as Jo Graham demonstrates how a water sample for eDNA testing is collected.


If you do an eDNA test for GCN out of season you cannot use the results to support absence of newts during planning applications nor for licensing purposes.

After analysis your sample (anonymised) may be used in further laboratory research to develop tests for the monitoring of other species within the GCN pond ecosystem.

More information

Helen Rees

Helen Rees

+44 (0)1159 516747

  • Cost and time savings over conventional methods
  • Survey window extended to the end of June
  • Early indication of project budgets and programmes (for projects with long lead-in times)
  • Early indication of mitigation requirements, allowing better project planning e.g. where additional land is required for mitigation
  • eDNA has been shown to be more effective at detecting newts than individual ‘traditional’ survey methods (torch counts, bottle trapping and egg searches) over the course of the survey season (Biggs et al., 2014).
  • I received an excellent service from ADAS and I will definitely use eDNA testing again

    Mark Hadfield
    Ben Bailey Homes

  • I found eDNA testing very useful, partly due to the volume of ponds I would have had to survey

    ADAS’s service was very efficient and eDNA helped make preparation of the mitigation strategy a lot easier.

    Mike Cummings
    Darwin Ecology

  • ADAS were very efficient and went out of their way to do what we needed

    Paul Roberts
    Greenscape Environmental

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