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Reptiles & amphibians and the law

Great Crested Newts

Great Crested Newts (Triturus cristatus) are found in two sites in Neath Port Talbot - at Llandarcy and Margam.

The Great Crested Newt is a European protected species and is afforded protection under Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act, and the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010.


  • To kill, injure or capture a great crested newt
  • Disturb a great crested newt in its place of shelter or breeding
  • Obstruct, damage or destroy the places where great crested newts live
  • Possess, control, transport, sell, exchange or offer for sale/exchange any live or dead Great Crested Newt or any part of a Great Crested Newt.

If any activities are undertaken that result in any of the above an offence would be committed under the law.

If prosecuted a conviction can be 6 months imprisonment and/or a fine.

Exceptions and derogations:

  • You can tend to an injured great crested newt in order to release it when it recovers or you can kill a great crested newt that is so seriously injured it has no reasonable chance of recovery.
  • If any actions or works, such as development near to a pond, are likely to impact on Great Crested Newts then a (derogation) licence may be able to be obtained from the Welsh Government. This will allow works to be undertaken dependent upon the implementation of certain conditions and methods of working. Mitigation may be required to be provided, especially in the case of developments, where for example ponds are removed.

In addition to the Great Crested Newt, Common Toads, Common Frogs, Palmate Newts and Smooth Newts are protected from Sale under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended).


All the native reptiles of Neath Port Talbot are afforded protection under sub-section 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended).


  • To kill or injure a reptile
  • Trade/sell a reptile.


The exceptions to the legislation refer to allowing things to happen that are reasonable, unavoidable or unpredictable e.g. running over a Slow Worm on a road.

Further Information: