Protected Species Surveys
Many planning applications are delayed or rejected because the potential impact on protected species has not been properly assessed.
Early identification of any protected species using a site will give you the best chance to work towards minimising the costs associated with planning applications.
Forward thinking will also allow you to increase efficiency through the ability to plan a range of mitigation schemes, satisfying environmental and planning regulations and offering a proactive approach to ecology issues.
European Protected Species Licence Applications
Most management and mitigation works involving protected species require a European Protected Species Licence, the application for which can often be a cumbersome and time consuming process.
The presence of a protected species on a proposed development site does not necessarily mean that development cannot be carried out. It is important to note however that the design and scheduling of developments will need to take account of the presence (or even the potential presence) of any protected species.
With a co-ordinated approach from the outset, we believe that we can provide you with the right support to minimise potential delays to your project and maximise your chances of success.
Due to the decline in bat populations in the UK over the last century and the level of protection now afforded to bats, many planning applications must be supported by a bat survey, even when the likelihood of the presence of bats might seem to be low. Surveys are time critical, requiring advance planning.
Badgers are afforded full legal protection under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992. As a result, some development activities may require a licence from Natural England and the provision of mitigation if badgers are present on, or even adjacent a proposed development site.
Great Crested Newt Surveys
Any development proposed within 500m of suitable aquatic habitat for great crested newts must be assessed for the potential impact that development might have on this species. Loss of potential terrestrial habitat is also a material consideration.
Barn Owl Surveys
Barn owls are afforded special protection under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act (as amended); therefore developments, particularly barn conversions and renovations of older buildings, must consider any potential impacts on barn owls.
Water Vole Surveys
Water voles typically occur along well vegetated banks of slow flowing rivers, ditches, dykes, and lakes. In recent times habitat loss and degradation has caused the decline, fragmentation and isolation of water vole populations. Surveys need to be planned properly and often include accessing watercourses beyond the site boundaries.
The adder, common lizard, grass snake and slow worm are protected from killing or injury under Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended). The sand lizard and smooth snake are protected under Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) and Schedule 2 of the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 making them European Protected Species.
Otters are found in a variety of still and running water such as rivers small streams, lakes, and canals. Recent surveys have indicated a resurgence in otter populations across the UK as a result of higher quality river networks that provide a suitable habitat for the species.
Nesting Bird Surveys
Our team of experienced ornithologists can carry out a nesting bird check prior to site clearance and demolition works. If any active nests are observed during the survey, exclusion zones will be recommended and works within these areas will be restricted until the birds have fledged.