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It is a protected species under schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, which covers England, Wales and Scotland, and under equivalent legislation in Northern Ireland. It is also a European Protected Species and as such it has additional protection in the UK under Regulation 39 of the Conservation (Natural Habitats etc.) Regulations 1994 (the Habitats Regulations), as amended by the Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) (Amendment) Regulations 2007. It is an offence to:
• Intentionally kill, injure or take a great crested newt.
• Possess or control any live or dead specimen or anything derived from a great crested newt.
• Intentionally or recklessly damage, destroy or obstruct access to any structure or place used for shelter or protection by a great crested newt (in practice this means both its breeding sites, and its terrestrial habitat).
• Intentionally or recklessly disturb a great crested newt while it is occupying a structure or place which it uses for that purpose."