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Protected Species Surveys


All protected species have a basic level of protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended), with a number of species offered further protection through other legislation, such as The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulation 2010 (European Protected Species) and under Section 41 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities (NERC) Act 2004 (formerly Biodiversity Action Plan species).

In summary, these legislations provide varying degrees of protection, dependent upon species, and make it an offence to:

  • Intentionally or recklessly kill, injure or take individuals
  • Intentionally or recklessly damage, destroy or obstruct access to any structure or place used for shelter or protection (e.g. bat roost, bird nest, etc.)
  • Possess or control live individuals/bird eggs
  • Sell or offer for sale individuals/bird eggs

It is the legal obligation of the landowner to ensure none of these offences are committed, and therefore surveys are required to determine presence or likely absence of protected species, investigate use of the site by those species, assess the impact of development and subsequently inform mitigation design to reduce those impacts on the relevant species.

Protected species surveys are seasonal with most commonly required surveys taking place between March and October. It is therefore important to have an ecologist on-board from as early in the planning process as possible. Please look at our survey calendar to discover when each survey can be undertaken.

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