There are four widespread species of British reptile – grass snake, slow-worm, adder and common lizard. All commonly encountered on development sites.
These animals are given so called ‘partial protection’ under UK law, and it is an offence to deliberately kill or injure individual animals. The habitats of common reptiles are not specifically protected, though developers are often obliged to replace any reptile habitat lost as a result of development.
Reptile surveys combine two techniques: a visual search and the use of artificial refugia. Surveys are seasonally constrained to between April and September, when animals are active and unlikely to be hibernating.
Reptile mitigation is also seasonally constrained to the period from April to September, and generally involves the erection of reptile-proof fencing and the use of artificial refugia. Substantial effort is required to capture and transfer animals off-site to pre-prepared receptor sites. Protected Species Licences are required if development proposals will affect the two scarce species – smooth snake and sand lizard. However, these species are very rarely found on development sites.
Our ecologists have extensive experience in surveying and designing mitigation for reptiles and can advise you on survey methodology, legal protection, mitigation options and the timing of development works.
For more information call us on 029 2065 0331.
More information about reptiles can be found in our articles – Reptiles in Britain.