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Great Crested Newt eDNA Testing Video

Nicola from Cellmark demonstrates the correct way to collect samples for eDNA testing for great crested newts. Thank you to Earth Trust for allowing us to film at their nature reserve in Abingdon -

When you receive one of our kits it will contain:

  • An instruction sheet
  • 2 pairs of sterile gloves, to avoid contamination at different stages of the sampling process
  • A sterile self-supporting Whirl-Pak bag, to mix the water samples
  • A sterile 30 ML ladle to collect the pond water
  • 6 sterile tubes all containing preserving fluid
  • A sterile pipette to transfer the Whirl-Pak sample to the tubes
  • One Gripseal bag to put the box of tubes in when they come back to the lab, this is just to avoid any contamination.
  • One sample return form
  • One return envelope

Take samples of your pond at 20 evenly spaced points and if possible target areas where there is vegetation as well as open water, but avoid taking samples where the water is less than 10cm deep.

Be careful not to put your feet in the pond, this is to avoid any contamination.

Whilst wearing sterile gloves open up the Whirl-Pak bag. Then, gently stir the water with the ladle until it almost touches the bottom, but avoid disturbing the sediment. Once you have taken your sample pour it into the Whirl-Pak bag, then you can go onto taking the other 19 samples.

Once you have taken your 20 samples, seal the Whirl-Pak bag securely and shake for 10 seconds to mix your samples.

Then put on a fresh pair of gloves to transfer the samples into the tubes. Using the pipette take 15ml of water from the Whirl-Pak bag and pipette it into each tube, making sure you fill it up to the 50ml line and then seal the cap and shake it for 10 seconds.

Repeat this until you have filled the 6 tubes. Then empty the remaining water from the Whirl-Pak bag back into the pond.

Place all the tubes into the box and put them in the gripseal bag. All the tubes and the box will have a barcode number on, make a note of this, as this will appear on your result report. Instructions for returning the samples are on the sample return form. Put the samples into the grey return envelope, fill in the details on the sample return form and then fold the envelope and seal it. Please dispose of the gloves, pipette, ladle, instructions and any excess packaging.