Otter and Water Vole Surveys
We can provide the whole range of otter and water vole surveys across the UK, and have vast project experience on a commercial and domestic scale. We are experienced in obtaining and implementing Natural England licences for works affecting these species.
Contact us to discuss your project.
- 1. Our Services
- 2. Background Information
- 3. Mitigation and Licensing
- 4. Additional Services
Our highly experienced and skilled field ecologists will initially conduct a walkover survey of the watercourse to assess the sites suitability for these species and to inspect the banks for field signs of otter or water vole presence including footprints, burrows and holts and latrines.
If no evidence of activity is found, and the level of potential is considered to be sufficiently low then a report will be produced suitable for submission to the local planning authority.
Alternatively, if evidence of either of these species is found, a more detailed survey technique may be required to gain further details of the population and assess how they are using the site.
The results will inform a survey report of our findings which is suitable for submission to the local planning authority. Our report will include suitable site specific recommendations including whether a Protected Species Licence is required for the development to continue.
Otters are protected under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations (2010) making it an offence to damage or destroy an otter's place of shelter, whether intentionally or accidentally and to deliberately disturb an otter. The Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981), as amended offers otters additional protection, making it an offence to ‘intentionally’ kill, injure or take an otter without a licence. It is also illegal to damage, destroy or obstruct access to a place used for shelter or protection.
Water voles receive legal protection through section 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981), as amended which makes it an offence to intentionally destroy, damage or obstruct access to any structure or place that water vole use for shelter/protection, or to disturb water voles whilst using such a place. From 2008 an amendment to the act provided complete protection, i.e. protection for the species as well as its habitat.
Any project where otters, water voles, or their shelters may be impacted detrimentally will require a Natural England development licence for development to take place.
Access Ecology has a number of Licensed and experienced staff who have compiled and managed successful licence applications for a range of differing development (and non-development) situations. As a result we are able to offer advice and expertise on all stages of the licensing and mitigation process.
In addition to surveys and licensing, Access Ecology can offer the following services in relation to otters and water voles;
- Design and implementation of protection zones or exclusion zones to fence off the otter holt or water vole burrow to minimise disturbance
- Habitat Creation and Enhancement
- Design and construction of artificial holts and burrows
- Trapping and translocation
|Otter and Water Vole Risk Assessment|
|Otter Activity Survey|
|Water Vole Activity Survey|
|Water Vole Mitigation|