Protected Species Surveys

All European Protected Species (EPS), the subset of Habitats Directive Annex IV species occurring naturally in Great Britain, are also protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) (WCA).

The offence of intentionally or recklessly disturbing protected species occupying places used for shelter or protection is covered under section 9 WCA and applies to species listed on Schedule 5 to the Act. A similar but wider offence is covered by the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010, which prohibits deliberate disturbance of Annex IV species in their natural range, particularly during the period of breeding, rearing, hibernation and migration.

The penalties for reckless or deliberate disturbance of these species are severe and are often held to apply to the decision makers in development companies. Even quite ordinary urban sites often support Great Crested Newts or Bats and these amongst other flora and fauna need to be surveyed for, and if necessary, provided with alternative habitats.

EcoSurv is able to offer advice on the complexities of the law in relation to such issues to ensure that our clients receive precise information regarding its implications. We can survey cost effectively any habitat potentially occupied by protected species and provide appropriate advice on whether any further work is required.

At EcoSurv our specialist team of ecologists collectively hold Natural England survey licenses for all the major protected species, and we are able to obtain the necessary development licenses for European Protected Species and implement the necessary mitigation.