NatureMetrics has run a successful GCN eDNA service since 2015, and we have processed thousands of samples for a wide variety of clients. We pride ourselves on quality of service, and are very pleased to have 100% proficiency rating 2020 for the third year in a row.

We are looking forward to the GCN 2021 season having had a very successful 2020 GCN season. As always, we promise excellent performance with our 100 % proficiency rated GCN service. We are pleased to continually offer a high-quality, high-capacity GCN service with a 2, 5 & 10 day UK turnaround, and international delivery options too. We aim to return results when they are done, even if this is before the deadline. If you place your order before 12pm we can dispatch for next-day UK delivery or at a later date of your choice. 

For new accounts, ordering & price enquiries, please email or give us a call on 0203 8767350.

If you are an existing customer you can place your orders by logging onto your ordering portal here.

For maximum traceability use our NM FieldMate app to record your data whilst you’re in the field! You can also use the customer portal to track the progress of your samples in our lab and view your report online.

NatureMetrics are proud to have received a 100% proficiency rating in 2020 for the third year in a row!

Great Crested Newts eDNA Surveys

A recognised method for confirming the presence of Great Crested Newts in ponds during mating season is the application of eDNA testing. You can be confident knowing we follow Natural England’s approved protocol (WC1067), ensuring our tests meet regulatory requirements.

Great Crested Newt surveys are vital to understanding this European protected species, especially with regards to their conservation and how they are impacted by development or environmental change.

NatureMetrics perform GCN eDNA testing based on qPCR. qPCR (Quantitative Polymerase chain reaction) detects, characterises and quantifies nucleic acids present in the eDNA samples to accredit single species, ensuring the high accuracy of your results.

How does the process work?
Your GCN eDNA Sampling Kit

Confirming the presence of Great Crested Newts has never been easier.

  • Register your account
  • Easily order your kits on my.naturemetrics
  • Receive your kits and start sampling
  • Send samples to our labs
  • We’ll process your results and issue a report over my.naturemetrics
  • We’ll follow up and offer further support if you need it.

Contact our team to discuss your project today.

Your GCN eDNA sampling kits are:

  • Inclusive of everything required to collect eDNA samples.
  • Easy to use.
  • Designed to need no refrigeration, power or additional equipment.

You can choose a turnaround time that works for you;

  • Standard: 10 working days (from when the lab receives your samples).
  • Fast: 5 working days (from when the lab receives your samples).
  • Super-fast: 2 working days (usually available on request, from when the lab receives your samples).

Following Natural England approved protocols, your NatureMetrics GCN eDNA Sampling kit has a shelf life of 3 months, meaning you can store your kits for most of the season.

Contact us today for advice on your project or to create your my.naturemetrics account.

If you’ve already registered with us, you can visit the ordering portal at to place an order or view your past reports.

Why NatureMetrics?

Strict adherence to and full understanding of the Natural England protocols for GCN eDNA.

The NatureMetrics FieldMate App which empowers you to collect and submit your field data on the go.

An efficient service: Place your order by midday for next day delivery. We release results on time and as quickly as possible, even if this is before your chosen turnaround time.

A partner who goes that extra mile for you. We understand the timely challenges associated with GCN sampling and in the past have hand-delivered kits all over the country when couriers were unable to assist.

A partner who works with you to make sure invoicing is compatible with your internal systems.

State-of-the-art eDNA facilities that will process your samples to the highest quality.

Flexibility: you don’t need to book a slot for your samples, we have a high capacity to process your GCN samples.

Guidance throughout all stages of your project cycle.

The knowledge your eDNA testing is compliant with all UK, EU and Natural England, eDNA requirements, laws and legislations.

Robust quality controls performed throughout the process, exceeding the basic quality checks that are required by the Natural England GCN protocol.

Access to our expert team who have a detailed understanding of how to protect and grow biodiversity through adaptive management techniques.

NatureMetrics: Behind the Science

We operate across two entirely separate laboratory sites, enabling us to achieve a highly conservative and unidirectional workflow that is specially designed to eliminate contamination.
We use our first site exclusively for extracting DNA from environmental samples within a positive-pressure cat.7 cleanroom. DNA from all samples gets stored here, whilst a subsample gets transferred to the second site for qPCR analysis.
See how the standard of our operations enabled us to achieve a 100% proficiency testing score (for the past three years!), when you step Inside NatureMetrics.


Great Crested Newt Survey FAQs

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How do I order GCN eDNA kits?


NatureMetrics has an online ordering portal that enables you to easily place your orders, track their progress and view the results of all your projects. To set up an account, simply email to register and we will get you set up. If you’re an existing customer and have forgotten your login details just go to the portal and click ‘forgot password’.

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Is bleach an effective method for cleaning of equipment?


Bleach is the most widely used decontaminant, but the strength of the bleach is key. The minimum effective concentration is 1.5% NaOCl and this should be soaked for 1 minute and then rinsed with water and finally wiped off with 70% ethanol to remove all traces of bleach.

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How long can a GCN sampling kit be kept for?

Natural England guidelines state that GCN kits have a 3 month shelf life. Once the sample has been collected and placed in the box it may be kept in a fridge or at room temperature for up to a week before returning to NatureMetrics, although we advise you to return them as soon as possible.

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Is it possible to detect other species from the sample?

The Natural England protcocol involves collecting a very small volume of water, so this does not necessarily collect enough eDNA to carry out further analyses such as vertebrate metabarcoding surveys. However, whilst on site you could use our NatureMetrics aquatic eDNA kits to collect a 1-2 Litre sample. Contact us for more information on maximising your biodiversity datasets for minimal additional field effort.

  • eDNA from Water
  • Invertebrates
  • Species from Faeces
  • Citizen Science
  • Consultation & Support
  • Training

eDNA from Water / Aquatic eDNA Surveys

Perform fast, powerful, robust surveys of aquatic life with the NatureMetrics’ eDNA from Water services. Our easy-to-use and custom designed sampling kits make the cutting-edge of DNA-based aquatic biomonitoring easily accessible to any user. Since 2016, they have been used to generate high-quality data from ponds, lakes, rivers and oceans, from the equator to the poles.


The NatureMetrics’ Invertebrate services overcome the classic challenges associated with the taxonomic identification of terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates.

We use DNA-based methods to obtain species-level data across all major taxonomic groups of invertebrate bulk samples collected using standard capture methods. These statistically powerful datasets can provide the evidence needed for demonstrating the effects of environmental or management changes on biodiversity.

Species from Faeces

From a faecal sample, it is possible to disentangle complex details about biodiversity. The NatureMetrics’ Species from Faeces services allow for species identification of the ‘doer of the deed’ as well as an assessment of the prey species that were consumed.

Citizen Science

The eDNA Discovery Lab brings biodiversity monitoring into the hands of everybody, whether you are hoping to engage stakeholders in fieldwork, or are curious about your own local biodiversity. We can help you to reveal the life within ponds, rivers, lakes and oceans. We work with local communities, schools, NGOs, and international charities to empower everybody with the tools needed for global change.

Find out more about incorporating Citizen Science into your environmental monitoring or see how you can get involved yourself.

Environmental Policy Consultation & Tender Support

NatureMetrics have assisted clients from a variety of sectors in utilising DNA-based methods to meet environmental monitoring needs across a range of regulatory environments.

Our team of experts can help you recognise the relationship between your business and biodiversity and buy-in from regulators and policy-makers, involving them in pilot studies and field trials at early stages. We are highly experienced at bringing together multi-stakeholder groups to trial and demonstrate new technologies and help accelerate uptake.

You can also leverage the knowledge of our team in tender support for environmental projects. We can help you understand how DNA based monitoring can support within the scope of your project tender and assist you in meeting the objectives when writing your tender application.

Discover more about our Environmental Policy Consultation and Tender Support services.


We offer education and training in DNA-based monitoring, having accumulated years of experience in industry and academia. You can enhance your teams’ knowledge of eDNA and DNA methods and develop a more in depth understanding of how to apply these methods robustly alongside other tools to help address particular biodiversity monitoring challenges, with training from our team of globally renowned experts.

We will tailor training to suit your requirements and deliver over a method of your choosing, be it remotely, on-site, in person or as a blend.

Explore our training services and the impacts our collaborations have achieved.