Other Species Surveys

Badger Surveys

Badgers are protected under the Badgers Act 1992.

We offer the following surveys

  • Activity Surveys - Surveys are undertaken to establish the presence of badgers and the location of their setts and foraging habitats. This involves searching for signs such as footprints or hairs. The information is then used to prepare mitigation plans to protect badgers during proposed works and habitat enhancements.

Reptile Surveys

There are six species of reptiles in Great Britain, two of which are European Protected Species - the smooth snake and the sand lizard. The other four reptiles are offered protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended). We offer the following surveys:

  • Habitat Suitability Assessment - This survey establishes the habitat potential for reptiles, looking for features such as basking sites, hibernation sites and refugia.
  • Presence/Population Survey – These surveys use national standards to establish the presence of species such as grass snake or slow worm . The information is used to design mitigation to protect reptiles during works and habitat enhancements.

Water Vole and Otter Surveys

Otters have suffered badly in the past due to pollution and persecution; however they are now protected by European Law, underthe Habitats Directive. Water voles are also endangered due to introductions of mink and habitat loss/degradation. They are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended). It is an offence to disturb, take or kill these species as well as to disturb/damage their habitat. Therefore, both species are important considerations where development is proposed in close proximity to waterbodies. We offer the following surveys:

  • Otters - Surveys are undertaken to national standards to establish the presence or likely absence of this species. Mitigation and design of works can be used to protect and enhance the species and its habitat during development.
  • Water Voles – The surveys assess habitats for their suitability for water voles and search for signs of activity (such as feeding stations). Once presence is established, mitigation and habitat management can be planned to protect water voles during development works.

Dormouse Surveys

As one of the UK’s rarest mammals, the dormouse is now fully protected under the EU Habitats Directive. The dormouse is elusive due to its nocturnal nature, small size and specific habitat requirements.

  • Nut Search – A nut search is conducted to national guidelines and can provide information about the likely presence/absence of dormice.
  • Nest Tube – Erecting and monitoring nest tubes (in the active season of May to October) combined with a nut search is a reliable method for determining the presence/absence of dormice and provides information essential to design mitigation and habitat enhancement s to protect dormice.
  • Nest Search – A nest search may be conducted in the winter months for hibernation nests. This can confirm the presence of dormice at a site.

White-Clawed Crayfish Surveys

Native White Clawed Crayfish populations are threatened by competition and disease associated with the introduction and spread of other non-native crayfish species. White-clawed crayfish are a native British species, and their habitats are protected by national legislation from harm and/or disturbance.

This species frequently inhabits lakes, streams and rivers close to development sites, therefore appropriate surveys and mitigation are required to prevent a breach of legislation and to meet planning requirements. The optimum time to survey for crayfish is between July and September and surveys must be conducted during this period for planning purposes. Surveys conducted outside this period may not be acceptable to planning departments and regulators.

White-Clawed Crayfish Facts:

  • The white-clawed crayfish is protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act, the EC Habitats Directive and the Bern Convention and is a UK Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) species.
  • It is the only native British crayfish species.
  • The white-clawed crayfish is threatened by habitat loss, poor water quality, predation and diseases associated with non-native crayfish.
  • Crayfish enter a type of hibernation, torpor, in winter.
  • Females carry the eggs over winter under their tails. The eggs hatch and the young remain attached until June.
  • Crayfish moult their shells to grow larger.

Our ecologists are experienced and licensed to conduct white clawed crayfish surveys with Natural England and CCW and we provide surveys for a range of clients such as developers, architects, Local Authorities, Government organisations, landowners and other environmental and engineering consultancy companies.

We offer the following (native) white-clawed crayfish surveys:

  • Habitat Assessment
  • Presence/Absence Survey
  • Population and Disease Monitoring
  • Mitigation Design

Because survey windows are specifically defined, we recommend that relevant ecological surveys are highlighted and commissioned at an early stage in project development. This can prevent unnecessary delays and costs on projects if the need for ecological surveys is raised during the development process, outside of the acceptable survey periods. OHES is able to offer advice and guidance on the appropriate timing of surveys for this and other protected species.

If your development is likely to effect lakes, streams or rivers contact OHES for a free initial consultation and competitive quote.