Wildlife Services

Great Crested Newt eDNA 

NatureMetrics has run a GCN eDNA service since 2015, and we have processed thousands of samples for a wide variety of clients.

eDNA is a recognised method for establishing the presence or absence of Great Crested Newts in ponds during the breeding season. The test is based on qPCR, which is carried out in 12 replicates per sample. NatureMetrics has run a GCN eDNA service since 2015, and we have processed thousands of samples for a wide variety of clients. In 2017 we extended our capacity and returned 100% of results on time.


Out of Season Testing

We are able to perform out-of-season tests, but it is important to be aware that negative results obtained from samples taken between 30th June and 15th April will not be accepted by Natural England as evidence of GCN absence in support of licence applications. You can place an order for analyses on our Ordering page.


About Our Service 

We follow Natural England’s approved protocol (WC1067), which ensures that the test meets regulatory requirements. We also participate in the proficiency testing scheme and performed well in the initial 2017 test.

We offer a Standard Turnaround service (10 working days from receipt of sample in the lab) and a Fast Turnaround service (5 working days from receipt). We can usually offer super-fast turnaround (2 days) on request.

We operate a highly conservative workflow across two entirely separate laboratory sites. The first site is ultra-clean and used exclusively for extracting DNA from environmental samples within a positive-pressure Category 7 cleanroom. DNA from all samples is stored here, while a subsample is transferred to our other site for qPCR analysis. Unidirectional workflows are operated both within and between sites. 

We are proud to deliver this service in partnership with NHBS. Kits are made at NHBS facilities in Devon and are sent directly to clients without coming near the laboratories where samples are processed. This ensures that there is no risk of kits being contaminated.


Why chose us as your eDNA lab?

We are not alone in offering this service, but we believe there are a few things that set us apart from the competition.

  • No extra courier fees, as delivery is included in the per-sample cost.
  • Ultra-clean laboratory for DNA extraction to guard against contamination.
  • For regular customers, we offer an online sample tracking system through which you can place orders and view the progress of your samples. We also have a mobile app that allows you to collect and submit field data on your phone.
  • We go the extra mile to make sure that you have your kits when you need them. We understand that site access can be complex, and once it’s arranged, the last thing you want is to be unable to take the samples because your kits haven’t arrived. In the past we have hand-delivered kits all over the country on occasions when couriers let us down.
  • We don’t require payment in advance, but can work with you to make sure that invoicing is compatible with your internal systems, separating invoices by project number where required.
  • We get results to you on time and as quickly as possible. That means that even if you have booked the standard 2-week service, if your samples are ready wthin 3 days then that’s when you will receive your results.
  • We will always try our best to accomodate your needs above and beyond the regular service. Whether this is needing last minute kits or super-fast turnaround of results – no guarantees, but we will do our very best to meet these requirements where possible.
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