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Ecology surveys for most protected species can only be conducted during the active period for those animals, so ecology needs to be considered early stage in the planning process.
Bats, great crested newts, hazel dormice, water voles and badgers are examples of protected species with specific legislative protection. Measures, including Ecology surveys and habitat creation and management, must be taken by any development or other type of project that might cause harm to protected species or habitats.
Phlorum works closely with our clients when planning and carrying out protected species surveys.
Great crested newt and pool frog are the only British amphibians which are European Protected Species (EPS). The pool frog is very rare and unlikely to be found on development sites. However, developers need to be aware of the possibility of great crested newts being present on their land and the implications of their presence.
The team at Phlorum are able to advise on amphibian and great crested newt surveys and issues and liaise with planning authorities if required. We have experienced surveyors who are licensed to undertake presence/absence and population assessment surveys and in addition we are able to compile European Protected Species Mitigation (EPSM) licence applications.
Badgers and their setts are protected under the Protection of Badgers Act (1992) which makes it an offence to disturb a badger while it is within a sett or to damage or destroy a sett.
If the presence of badgers is suspected on a development site, then a badger survey and assessment will need to be carried out. A Development Licence will be required for any works likely to affect an active badger sett or disturb badgers occupying a sett.
All species of bats are protected in the UK. Bats utilise a variety of places for roosting, breeding and hibernating and developers need to be aware of the possible presence of bats on their land and the implications for development.
Phlorum can provide advice and carry out a range of bat surveys including preliminary roost assessments, dusk emergence surveys and pre-dawn re-entry surveys. The team can also compile European Protected Species Mitigation (EPSM) licence applications.
All birds, their nests and eggs are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended). Certain rare species (Schedule 1 birds) receive additional protection from disturbance while breeding. Phlorum can carry out wintering and breeding bird surveys and devise suitable mitigation for a range of projects. We also carry out watching briefs in respect of nesting birds.
The white-clawed crayfish is the UK’s only native crayfish. It is a crustacean which is protected under schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981) (as amended) and is under threat from the introduced non-native North American signal crayfish. Phlorum can carry out white-clawed crayfish surveys to establish baseline conditions and ongoing monitoring through desktop studies, habitat assessments, torch searches (April – October), netting (July – October) eDNA and trapping.
Dormice are largely confined to southern England and inhabit woodland and hedgerows. They are generally active between mid-April to October. Dormouse surveys can be carried out during the active period which may include gnawed nut searches and nest tube surveys. These surveys are undertaken to assess the presence or likely absence of dormice at a site.
Otters are afforded legal protection under schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981). It is illegal to kill, injure or capture an otter, or destroy, damage, or obstruct an otter resting place, or intentional or recklessly disturbing an otter while it is occupying its resting place. Despite having undergone significant population decreases in the last century, they are now well established in most of the UK.
There are six reptile species found in the UK. These include common lizard, slow worm, adder, grass snake, sand lizard and smooth snake. All species are protected from killing and injury.
Breeding sites and resting places used by sand lizard and smooth snake are also protected although these species are rarely encountered on development sites. The other four species are more widespread and are often encountered on development sites.
Phlorum is able to carry out presence/absence reptile surveys and design and implement suitable mitigation to ensure an efficient and successful result for the client and for reptiles.
Water voles inhabit burrows along the banks of water courses. The water vole is afforded protection in the UK under schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Phlorum staff can provide advice and are able to carry out water vole surveys and devise appropriate mitigation when required. Water vole surveys are conducted between March and September. Although this species is active all year round, they are markedly less active during the winter.
If you do not see the survey you require above, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our expert protected species consultants, who will be happy to offer advice based on your specific needs and circumstances.