Protected Species


British bats have been in sharp decline for the last 100 years or so due to loss of roost and foraging habitat. It is highly recommended that developers address potential bat issues as early as possible in the planning application process. The combination of protected species licensing procedures and national and international legislation, affords bats or their roosts, a statutory licence may need to be sought.


The more common species of reptile can be encountered in a wide range of development projects and habitats, from city centres to moorland. Reptile work is highly seasonal and has short survey periods; surveys are usually undertaken in early spring, between April and June and again in September. However the surveys should be carried out in good conditions, therefore they can be constrained by adverse weather; reptiles should be considered as early on in the development process as possible, to help counter any potential delays caused by weather conditions.

Great Crested-Newt

The great crested-newt can commonly occur, particularly in parts of the English West Midlands and the north-west and North Wales and is afforded full legal protection. This is another species where survey is constrained by the season. Surveys are undertaken between March and June when the adults return to water-bodies to breed. Developments which would disturb significant numbers of newts or affect their ponds or surrounding terrestrial habitat may require licensing.


Breeding birds, their nests, eggs and young are protected during the nesting season. Further protection is afforded to ‘Schedule 1’ species such as the barn owl that are also protected from disturbance during the breeding season.

Barn Owl

This bird of prey makes use of buildings and trees for roosting and nesting, and is often found associated with disused farm buildings. Surveys for this species help build up a picture of use of structures for roosting and breeding and inform on mitigation design, such as replacement roosting sites including purpose built cavities within buildings or stand-alone nest boxes mounted on poles.

Hazel Dormouse

Dormice, although widespread in southern and central England and Wales, are not a usually a common occurrence on development sites. However, their use of a broad range of habitats, including woodland, hedgerow and bramble thickets, can bring them into contact with development projects. Through the use of dormouse boxes and the recently developed artificial nesting tubes, a previously difficult species to survey for has become a standard part of our protected species suite of surveys.


The Protection of Badgers Act 1992, protects badgers and their setts. Damage to a sett or disturbance of badgers within a sett requires licensing. Mitigation may be required where badgers and their setts are impacted by development. This can be in the form of barrier fencing, tunnels below roads and the creation of alternative foraging habitat. We are experienced in sett inspection, bait marking studies to map badger territories, works affecting setts, including closures and artificial sett construction.

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