Whilst the penalty for killing and injuring great crested newts, or destroying their habitat is often quoted as £5,000, in fact you could get an unlimited fine and up to 6 months in prison for each offence if you’re found guilty.

In a case in Leicestershire, where a construction company filled in a great crested newt breeding pond, Melton Magistrates’ Court handed out a fine of £8,400 for damaging the habitat of great crested newts. The builder was personally fined £1,400 for the offences and his firm £7,000. An order was also made for a further £70 of costs.