If required, one of our experienced ecological consultants will perform a reptile survey. This will include the undertaking of an initial walkover survey of the proposed development site to establish the potential for the presence of any reptile species.
- 1. Our services
- 2. Background Information
- 3. Mitigation and Licensing
- 4. Additional Services
Access Ecology’s highly experienced ecologists will initially conduct a walkover survey of a site to assess for reptiles. The walkover survey assesses the suitability of the site to contain reptiles, while also inspecting the site for direct evidence of their presence.
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 the initial reptile survey indicates that the site has potential to support reptiles, a further survey will be required to establish the presence/absence of reptiles, the species and population status of any reptiles found. This will involve a search of existing refugia (rubble, urban waste etc) and installation of artificial refugia, which will be inspected for reptiles over a defined period.
The design and frequency of the survey effort will be site specific and surveys will be undertaken between March and October, with April to June and September being the optimum months.
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 European Protected Species Licence is required for the development to continue.
All six of the UK’s native reptiles are protected under section 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside act 1981 (as amended) making it an offence to intentionally capture, kill or injure the reptiles and damage or destroy and shelter. It is also an offence to trade the reptiles.
The sand lizard and smooth snake are fully protected under this act and receive extra protection under regulation 9 of the EU Habitat regulations 1994 as they are both endangered species. If any works are likely to disturb or damage these two species or their shelters a Natural England licence will be required.
Reptile surveys can take place from March to October, with late spring (April-June) and September being the best time to survey. Survey times can be limited by high temperatures in July/August, because reptiles will consequently spend less time basking.
Weather conditions are also another factor influencing survey. It is best to survey when air temperatures are between 9 and 18°C, with rainy or windy conditions being unsuitable for survey. The different types of survey methods are as follows:
- Direct observation: Experienced ecologists can visually search for basking reptiles in suitable habitats.
- Artificial refuges: Materials such as corrugated iron, roofing felt and carpet tiles are placed in potential reptile ‘hotspots’. These refuges provide shelter from predation and aid the reptile to absorb heat. This method works well for slow-worms and snakes but is less effective for lizards.
- Presence/Absence survey: To determine the presence or absence of reptiles, seven survey visits (less if found earlier) must be conducted in suitable weather conditions.
In addition to surveys and licensing, Access Ecology can offer the following services in relation to reptiles;
- Design and implementation of trapping and translocation programmes
- Recommendations for and installation of exclusion fencing
- Habitat Design
- Habitat Creation and Enhancement
- Post development monitoring
|Trapping & Translocation|