Reptile Surveys and Mitigation

Reptile Surveys and Mitigation

If you have reptiles on your site we can survey to confirm their presence and provide mitigation measures to help you manage them

There are six native species of terrestrial reptile in Britain. Common reptiles include the slow worm, common lizard, grass snake and adder. Two reptile species, the smooth snake and sand lizard, are highly restricted in their distribution.

Populations of smooth snakes are mainly restricted to Dorset and Hampshire with small populations in West Sussex and Surrey. Sand lizards are more widespread, with native populations in Surrey, Hampshire and Dorset, and reintroduced populations in other counties including Devon, Cornwall and Wales.

The Law

All reptiles are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended), making it illegal to intentionally kill or injure a common reptile. Rare reptiles (smooth snake and sand lizard) also receive legal protection under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010.

It is illegal to deliberately injure, kill, capture or disturb a rare reptile, or to damage or obstruct any place used for shelter or protection. Rare reptiles may only be handled by licensed ecologists.

Breaking the law can lead to fines of up to £5,000 per offence and potential prison sentences of up to six months. Vehicles implicated in an offence can be compounded and both the company and/or the individual(s) concerned can be held liable.

All reptile species are species of principle importance under the Natural Environment Rural Communities (NERC) Act 2006, and local authorities and other public bodies have a legal duty to take their conservation into account. Because of this they are a material consideration in the planning process.

Expert Reptile Consultants

Our ecologists can advise on all aspects of reptile survey and mitigation, and undertake the necessary works to ensure a successful outcome for client and wildlife alike.

Projects we have worked on include:

Working with Reptiles

Our ecologists are fully trained in reptile survey methods and mitigation. Some are licensed to survey smooth snakes, and sand lizards, and to handle adders (venomous snakes).

Reptile Surveys and Mitigation

Common reptiles can be found in a variety of habitats, including urban areas, in vegetation on railway embankments, churchyards and in hedgerows, sheltering under logs, rocks and compost heaps. Hibernation occurs between November and February. Surveys can only be carried out in the period April to September when reptiles are dependably active although weather conditions may determine whether surveys are appropriate even during this period (April, May and September are the three key months to plan for).

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