Protected Species – Phase 2

The need for further protected species surveys is normally highlighted early on during our ‘Preliminary Ecological Appraisal’, ‘Protected Species Building Assessment’ or ‘Preliminary Ground Level Tree Roost Assessment’. This enables time delays and their associated costs to be minimised during planning applications, while safeguarding the protection and continued ecological functionality of protected species.

Bat survey carried out in a very professional fashion as was the detailed report.

Private Client

 

Phase 2 surveys enable appropriate mitigation to be designed, licences to be applied for, and the implementation of works. Early ecological engagement is crucial, as a large proportion of phase 2 surveys are time sensitive, therefore please refer to our ‘Survey Calendar(pdf) for further information.

Colmer Ecology has considerable experience in dealing with protected species surveys and is able to assist from initial assessments through to planning application and ‘European Protected Species Licence’ application.

protected species

All 17 breeding British bat species (the 18th species is not known to breed in the UK) and their roosts are legally protected and are often referred to as European Protected Species.

Bats hibernate during the winter and there are specific times when activity surveying can be carried out. For more information, please refer to our ‘Survey Calendar(pdf).

Where evidence of bats, or potential, has been noted during a ‘Protected Species Building Assessment’ or ‘Preliminary Ground Level Tree Roost Assessment’, Presence/Absence Surveys and/or Roost Characterisation Surveys will be required. Furthermore, where land development is likely to have significant impact on bat commuting and foraging habitat, Bat Activity Surveys may be required.

Colmer Ecology holds appropriate Natural England survey licences for bats. We carry out evening and pre-dawn roost characterisation, presence/absence and activity surveys. Where necessary ‘European Protected Species Licence’ applications may also be required which we apply for on behalf of our client once planning permission has been granted. We also design bat mitigation and carry out its implementation as well as undertake research studies.

So if you have recently been refused planning permission on grounds of bat ecology, or require assistance with bat surveys, please feel free to contact us and we will be pleased to assist. Our ‘Bat Surveys Made Simple’ flow chart will provide an overview to what may be required, with further information on timings found on our ‘Survey Calendar(pdf).

Please contact us to discuss your requirements.

We specialise in ornithology having experience of numerous bird surveys throughout the UK. These have included onshore wind farms, large and small-scale housing developments, pre and post construction estuarine bird surveys and monitoring, bird surveys of quarry sites, road widening schemes, research studies and barn owl surveys.

Our bird surveys follow appropriate methodology such as common bird census territory mapping, WeBS counts, Brown and Shepherd upland wader and O’Brien and Smith lowland wader surveys, Scottish Natural Heritage wind farm methodology and species specific vantage point surveys.

We also hold Natural England Schedule 1 barn owl survey licences and have worked on numerous barn conversions where barn owls have been present. We pride ourselves in providing long-term solutions and assessment of ornithological impacts.

For further information on timings for bird survey, please consult our ‘Survey Calendar(pdf).

If you are planning a development, a barn conversion, or simply wish to discuss the requirement of a bird survey, please contact us.

Dormice are a European Protected Species with legislation in place that protects the species and their habitat used for rest and shelter.

They spend a considerable amount of time in hibernation and/or torpor and are affectionately known as the seven months sleeper. During their active period they are largely arboreal.

Although traditionally thought to only favour species rich woodland and hedgerows, dormice can be found in a range of habitats such as bramble scrub, coniferous woodland, and heathland where connectivity to favourable habitat occurs.

If suitable dormouse habitat is identified during a preliminary ecological appraisal and likely to be impacted by a development, a Presence/Likely Absence Survey  may be required. In some instances, a Nut Search may be undertaken.

These surveys are time sensitive, therefore please refer to our ‘Survey Calendar(pdf) for further information.

Colmer Ecology holds appropriate Natural England survey licences for dormice. We have many years experience working with dormice and specialise in their surveying, assessing impacts and if necessary, applying for a ‘European Protected Species Licence’.

If you wish to discuss any survey requirement or an initial site assessment, please contact us.

Great crested newts (GCN) are a European Protected Species with individuals, their eggs, and habitat used for rest and shelter being legally protected. They hibernate on land during the winter and can become active as early as February in some areas. Breeding occurs within the aquatic environment during the spring.

Presence/Likely Absence Surveys are very time sensitive with surveying during the aquatic phase possible between March and June.

In order to avoid any significant time delays, any suitable water body in or adjacent to a site is subject to a
Habitat Suitability Index Survey during our initial ‘Preliminary Ecological Appraisal’ survey.

Colmer Ecology holds appropriate Natural England survey licences for this species and are highly experienced in GCN survey design, implementation, assessment, ‘European Protected Species Licence’ and mitigation.

For further information on timings, please consult our ‘Survey Calendar(pdf) or alternatively, contact us to discuss your requirements.

Badgers live in (often large) social groups and within well defined territories. They are a widespread species, most common in lowland habitats such as woods, pastures and scrubland. Although a generally secretive animal, badgers also occupy territories within urban environments where they can thrive.

Colmer Ecology is able to provide a full suite of badger surveys, such as initial walkover assessments to establish presence, badger bait marking to identify separate badger territories, licence applications, badger sett closure and artificial sett creation and installation. Some of this work is time sensitive, therefore for further information on timings for badger surveys, please consult our ‘Survey Calendar(pdf).

If you are unsure whether badgers are present on your site and what surveys you may require, feel free to contact us for impartial advice and recommendations.

The six native British reptile species include grass snake, smooth snake, adder, slow-worm, common lizard and sand lizard. All are protected by UK legislation, with smooth snake and sand lizard being European Protected Species.

Reptiles hibernate during the winter but can be found in a variety of habitats such as rough grassland, scrub, woodland, roadside boundaries, waste ground, moors and heaths.

Identifying potential reptile habitats early is key for any application, and we cover this in either our ‘Pre-Development Assessment’ or ‘Preliminary Ecological Appraisal’.

Where suitable habitat is identified, there may be the requirement to conduct a Presence/Likely Absence Survey and subsequently a reptile mitigation strategy and translocation.

A ‘European Protected Licence’ is only required for surveying and translocating sand lizard and smooth snake.

Colmer Ecology has been involved in numerous reptile surveys. We provide initial site assessments, presence/likely absence surveys, reptile mitigation design, implementation of exclusion fencing and subsequent reptile translocations and destructive searches.

For further information on timings, please consult our ‘Survey Calendar’ (pdf) or alternatively, contact us to discuss your requirements.

Otters are a European Protected Species and are highly dependent on the aquatic environment. Otters often leave characteristic field signs that are searched for during our ‘Pre-Development Assessment’ or ‘Preliminary Ecological Appraisal’.

Otter surveys can be undertaken at any time of year, however, will be weather and water level dependent. Should evidence of otter be noted during initial site assessments, further surveys may be required to gather suitable information.

Colmer Ecology covers all aspects of otter surveying, from initial site assessment to more extensive surveys for road and bridge schemes, ‘European Protected Species Licence’, mitigation design and implementation.

For further information on timings, please consult our ‘Survey Calendar(pdf) or alternatively, contact us to discuss your requirements.

Any works that are likely to impact water voles or damage, destroy or obstruct access to any structure or place used as shelter or protection is likely to require a survey and subsequent mitigation.

As for the otters, water voles often leave characteristic field signs that are searched for during our ‘Pre-Development Assessment’ or ‘Preliminary Ecological Appraisal’. Should evidence of water vole be noted during these initial assessments, further surveys may be required to gather suitable information.

We have extensive experience of water vole surveys and where necessary, we can tailor our surveys to include both otter and water vole. For further information on timings, please consult our ‘Survey Calendar(pdf) or alternatively, contact us to discuss your requirements.