The protected species survey season for this year has begun – find out what you need to know about planning your surveys to avoid costly delays
Nature’s flora has begun its yearly spectacle with bulbs and trees bursting into bloom, a true sign that spring is upon us. Fauna is also becoming more active again after the winter months, which can only mean one thing… the survey season has begun!
Avoid any delays to your development, consult our ecologists now to discuss your requirements and schedule in your surveys.
Applying for planning permission?
Spring is the start of the optimal period for initial extended Phase 1 Habitat surveys. Make sure to plan in this early assessment of your site to determine if any further detailed surveys are needed.
Protected Species and/or their habitat identified on your site?
Now is a prime time to get in touch with our ecologists to make sure there is plenty of time to complete any dedicated surveys that are needed within the accepted survey windows. Consulting our ecology team early will ensure constraints to your proposals are identified early and accounted for in your planning and development schedules, avoiding costly delays.
Breeding bird and great crested newt surveys are now underway!
April showers combined with sunny spells will entice other amphibians out of hibernation as well as reptiles. Bats too will be on the move and emerging from their roosts as the temperatures rise. Nest tube surveys for dormouse will also need to be set up by the end of Spring.
Get ahead of the game with Great Crested Newt
Q: Is there any kind of water body on or within 500m of your site?
The chances are you could come across great crested newt; as amphibians, living both in water and on land, this species can be found in habitats of all types up to 0.5km from their breeding ponds. Great crested newt receives full legal protection under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 and the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended).
Our ecologists are highly experienced and fully licensed to survey for this species and can advise on and carry out all aspects of assessment and mitigation, from thorough field survey and detailed mitigation design, implementation and habitat creation, to European Protected Species Mitigation licence application.
With the warm weather in recent weeks, we have entered the breeding season so now is the time to speak with our team and avoid any impacts to your schedules.
If you have heard of the new District Licensing procedure introduced by Natural England, get in touch if you have any queries and to find out how this could be relevant to your development. Similarly, we are happy to answer any questions you might have on the four licensing policies and how they may be relevant to you.
Be on the ball for Breeding Birds, now is the time for nesting bird checks
Q: Are you planning demolition or maintenance works? Need to mow or strim, or carry out scrub and tree clearance?
Plan ahead! The breeding bird season has started. To avoid committing an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended), it’s best to program your works outside of this period, but we know that this isn’t always possible.
Where habitat clearance cannot be avoided, nesting bird checks will be necessary. These must be carried out by a suitably qualified ecologist within 48 hours of the start of any works. Contact us at our nearest office now to discuss your requirements.
If nesting birds are present, we will offer appropriate advice for protecting the nest until the young are confirmed to have fledged.
Contact us for advice
If you need further advice on when to book your surveys during the protected species survey season, advice on planning mitigation, or help with other protected species related to your project, then get in touch to speak to one of our expert ecologists.
Protected Species Survey Calendar
Get to grips with the seasonality of other Protected Species and plan in survey and mitigation work for your site. Download your own copy of the Protected Species Survey Calendar for 2019.