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Reptile Surveys

Phlorum provides reptile surveys across southern England, including Sussex, London, Surrey, Kent, Dorset, Hampshire and Wiltshire.

Six native reptile species are found in the UK, all protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981). These six species are protected from intentional killing and injury and are species of principal importance under the Natural Environment Rural Communities (NERC) Act 2006. The six UK reptile species include the common lizard, sand lizard, slow worm, adder, grass snake and smooth snake.

Common lizard

Where are reptiles most common in the UK?

Sand lizards and smooth snakes are rare, and their breeding sites and resting places are also protected under Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations Schedule 2 (2017). However, these two species are rarely encountered on development sites. Populations of smooth snakes are mainly found in Dorset, Hampshire, and Surrey, and have been reintroduced to West Sussex and Devon.

Populations of sand lizards are mainly found in Surrey, Hampshire, Dorset, and Merseyside. They have been reintroduced to other areas in the southeast, southwest, and Wales. Any impact on sand lizards or smooth snakes would require a licence.

The other four reptile species (adder, grass snake, common lizard, and slow worm) are widespread and often encountered on development sites. No licences are required for these four reptiles but care still needs to be taken to ensure they are not killed or harmed.


Typical Reptile Habitats

The ideal habitat for reptiles is rough grassland, scrub areas, hedges and woodland edges. If you have these habitats on site, then you are likely to need a reptile survey. Phlorum is highly experienced in conducting presence/absence reptile surveys, population estimates, and designing and implementing suitable mitigation to ensure an efficient and successful result for the client and for the reptiles.


When is the reptile survey season?

The reptile survey season is from April to September but hot weather in July and August could make these months sub-optimal for surveying.

Reptile Survey Methodology

Reptile survey methods involve searching for basking animals in natural hotspots (e.g. wood piles, earth banks, stone) but also by introducing artificial refuges (e.g. corrugated tiles, carpet tiles, or roofing felt). Several survey visits take place over a period of time to get an accurate representation of any potential reptiles on site. Suitable reptile mitigation methods can differ greatly depending on the site and reptile populations but can vary from phased vegetation clearance and habitat enhancement to translocation of reptile populations.

Free reptile survey consultation

Our ecology consultants have vast experience in conducting reptile surveys and habitat creation and management plans to assist developers in overcoming issues related to planning applications. Contact us now for your free consultation.

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