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Protected Species Surveys

There is various legislation that affords protection to a range of plant and animal species in the UK. This includes the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 (as amended), The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 and the Protection of Badger Act 1992.

Bats, great crested newt, hazel dormouse, otter, water vole, reptiles and badger are examples of species with specific legislative protection. Measures must therefore be taken by any development or other type of project that might cause harm to protected species or habitats.

Surveys for most protected species can only be conducted during the active period for those animals (for more details when, please see our ecological survey calendar) so it is important to consider ecology from an early stage in the planning process. Phlorum works closely with our clients when planning and carrying out protected species surveys.

Table 1: Protected species rough survey costs and timings

Survey TypeCost of SurveysPeriod Survey is ValidSurvey Time
Great Crested Newt surveys£1,400-£2,50012-18 months (usually)3-6 weeks (1 survey Edna, or 4 to 6 surveys)
Badger survey£400-£1,00012-18 months (usually)2-3 hours (1 surveys)
Bat activity surveys£850-£2,00012 months (usually)2.5 hours-4 weeks (1 to 3 surveys)
Reptile population survey£1,200-£1,70012-18 months (usually)2-4 weeks (7 surveys)
Water Vole survey£1,100-£1,50012-18 months (usually)2-3 hours (1 surveys)
Dormouse survey£1,500-£2,00012-18 months (usually)5-11 months (5 to 7 surveys)
Bird (wintering bird)£2,500-£6,00012-18 months (usually)6 months (several surveys)
Bird (breeding bird)£2,000-£3,00012-18 months (usually)6 months (several surveys)

Amphibian and Great Crested Newt 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 great crested newt 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.

Badger Surveys

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 an 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.

Bat Surveys

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.

Reptile Surveys

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 surveys and design and implement suitable mitigation to ensure an efficient and successful result for the client and for reptiles.

Water Vole Surveys

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 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.

Dormouse Surveys

Dormice are largely confined to southern England and inhabit woodland and hedgerows. They are generally active between mid-April to October. 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. Phlorum can also provide advice on mitigation and compile European Protected Species Mitigation (EPSM) licence applications.

Bird Surveys

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.

Get in Touch

If you do not see the survey you require above, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our expert consultants, who will be happy to offer advice based on your specific needs and circumstances.