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Reptile Surveys

We have substantial experience of undertaking surveys for common lizards, slow worms, grass snakes and adders, particularly where needed as part of a planning application.

There are six native reptile species in the UK of which four are widespread and relatively common. These are the common lizard (Zootoca vivipara), slow-worm (Anguis fragilis), grass snake (Natrix natrix), and adder (Vipera berus). The remaining two species, the smooth snake (Coronella austriaca) and sand lizard (Lacerta agilis), are very rare and have restricted distributions and specialist habitat requirements. Reptiles can be present in a wide variety of habitats, including open countryside and urban habitats, grassland, heathland, gardens, allotments, and derelict or brownfield land. All six native reptile species have undergone significant decline in recent years, due to urbanisation, agricultural intensification, fragmentation and poor land management.

Reptile Legislation

All native British reptiles are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended). It is illegal to intentionally kill or injure any native British reptile species. The sand lizard and smooth snake are European Protected Species and receive further protection under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010. All species of reptile are also Species of Principal Importance in England under Section 41 of the NERC Act 2006(Section 42 in Wales) and the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act in Scotland. This places a duty on the Planning Authority to make the effect of a development on protected species a material consideration when considering planning applications.

Reptile Seasonal Constraints

Surveys for reptiles can be undertaken between March and October. Please click below to view our Reptile Survey and Mitigation Calendar.

Reptile Survey and Mitigation Calendar

Initial Scoping Surveys for Reptiles

We can undertake an assessment of your site for its potental to support reptiles, based on a wide range of factors such as location, the type of habitats present on site, and the degree of connectivity to the wider countryside.

Reptile Presence/Absence Surveys

The main methods are by visually searching for basking reptiles in suitable habitats and to create artificial refuges. These can be made from carpet tiles, roofing felt and corrugated steel sheets. They are placed in suitable habitats and provide shelter and absorb heat which attracts reptiles. The refuges are then inspected on a number of occasions over a period of time. At least seven visits must be conducted to assess the presence/absence of reptiles, with the total extended to at least 20 where a population estimate is needed to inform mitigation options.

We are able to offer very competitive fixed price reptile surveys. Please contact us.

Reptile Mitigation

If reptiles are found in the vicinity of the proposed development we can implement mitigation to minimise the disturbance to them. Where the potential impact is low and there is suitable adjacent habitat, the mitigation can be based on progressively clearing the site of vegetation in a manner that encourages any reptiles present to move away on their own. On larger sites, reptiles can be translocated off the site to a suitable receptor area, either adjacent to the site or at another location. This is faciliated by using reptile fencing that keeps the reptiles out of the area while building work takes place. For more details about our mitigation services click here.

Call us on 01256 892 640 for a friendly chat about your project