The Wildlife of
the West Country

A-Z Index

Reptiles - The Great-crested Newt

First seen on Thursday 28th March 2019 at Hidcote Gardens

The Great-crested Newt is probably the most famous of the newt species in the UK, as it is protected, and infamous for stopping developments when it is found on a building plot. Hidcote seems to have a healthy population in its pond.

Great-crested Newts can be distinguished from other newts in a number of ways. Firstly the crest, as well as being large, has a gap between the tail and body (Smooth Newts' crests are continuous). Secondly it has a clear white strip along the tail. It also has yellow and black stripy fingers, white spots, a distinctive underside pattern, but many of these features can be confused with the other two species.


The best time to get a clear view of a newt is when it pops up for a gulp of air. It swiftly dives back down again, but you can often catch a glimpse of the underside as it turns. The Great-crested Newt underside has a bright yellow and black pattern.

The female Great-crested Newt is relatively dull by comparison to the male. She has no crest, and is an overall black colour with fine bumps. She has a similar yellow underside, and you can see the yellow striped fingers.