- Qualified surveyors
- Competitive pricing
- Pragmatic solutions
Our ecologists are fully qualified to undertake your reptile surveys.
A walkover of the site to assess habitat potential for reptiles.
Presence / Likely Absence Surveys
Surveys of suitable habitat to find out if reptiles are present.
If sand lizard or smooth snake are present we can apply for a European Protected Species (EPS) mitigation licence for you.
We can devise mitigation strategies to conserve reptiles and minimise the risk of works harming reptiles.
* Excluding VAT. Guideline prices are for a small, local site. Actual costs are based on various factors including site size and travel distance, get a free quote.
Not sure exactly what you require? Our experienced ecologists will provide free, no obligation advice, just ask.
Why reptile surveys are needed
There are six native reptile species in the UK. Four species (slow worm, grass snake, adder and common lizard) are relatively common and widespread. The smooth snake and sand lizard are rarer and have very restricted distributions.
Smooth snake and sand lizard are European Protected Species, the reptiles themselves, their eggs and habitats are all protected. The common reptile species are partially protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) making it illegal to kill or injure these species.
If your proposed works are likely to impact upon suitable habitat (e.g. rough grassland, scrub, embankments, hedgerows) presence/likely absence surveys may be required to ensure that the law is not broken and inform a successful planning application.
The survey process
This involves an experienced surveyor walking the site and assessing the suitability of the habitats for reptiles. This is often carried out as part of a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal.
Presence/likely absence surveys
If there is suitable habitat on the site which will be lost further reptile surveys are likely to be needed.
Reptile surveys involve a visual search of the site and an artificial refugia survey. During a visual search the surveyor walks the site and looks for reptiles in areas of suitable habitat. This is undertaken at the same time as an artificial refugia survey, where artificial refugia (e.g. corrugated metal, roofing felt squares) are placed around the site in habitat where reptiles are most likely to be present. As reptiles are cold blooded they shelter under the artificial refugia and use the warmth of the refugia to increase their body temperatures. A surveyor will then check each refugia for the presence of reptiles on top or below it. Up to seven survey visits are usually required. Surveys can only be undertaken between April and September with the optimum months being April, May and September.
The next steps
If surveys find that reptiles are present we will work closely with you to design practical mitigation to ensure your project complies with wildlife law and that your planning application is successful.
If impacts to reptiles cannot be completely avoided it may be necessary to translocate reptiles from the site. Our ecologists are experienced at organising large scale reptile translocations.
European Protected Species (EPS) licence
If sand lizard or smooth snake are present and impacts cannot be completely avoided it may be necessary to apply for a EPS mitigation licence from the relevant Statutory Nature Conservation Organisation (Natural England, Natural Resources Wales, Scottish Natural Heritage). These licences permit works affecting sand lizards and smooth snakes that would otherwise be illegal, and can be applied for after planning permission has been granted. We are experienced in preparing and applying for these licences.