Acer Ecology has recently undertaken surveys for reptiles across Monmouthshire, such as Usk, Chepstow, Tintern, Caldicot, Monmouth, Abergavenny, and Gilwern. Acer Ecology also has the capacity to undertake surveys in the neighbouring counties of Herefordshire, south and mid-Powys, Blaenau Gwent, Torfaen, and Newport.
There are four widespread species of British reptile; all of which are 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.
Have you been asked to undertake a reptile survey by your local planning authority?
Reptile surveys combine two techniques: a visual search and the use of artificial refugia. Both surveys and associated mitigation are seasonally constrained to the months between April and September inclusive when animals are active and unlikely to be hibernating.
Mitigation for reptiles 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 scarcer species (the smooth snake and the sand lizard), although these two species are only 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 about reptile surveys, or for any further information regarding our other ecological services, please contact us on 02920 650 331, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.