HalpinRobbins have experienced ecologists capable of conducting a range of reptile surveys*, each tailored to meet our clients' needs and project requirements.
Reptile surveys can be undertaken as "stand alone" surveys, part of Preliminary Ecological Appraisals or as part of Ecological and Environmental Impact Assessments and the requirement to undertake a reptile survey is usually determined during a Phase 1 Ecology Survey. However, if a site or project contains rough grassland, brownfield sites, heathland, semi-natural habitat, meadows and pasture or is adjacent to such features it can be considered likely that a reptile survey will be required, in some form.
Each reptile survey will usually comprise a habitat suitability assessment and an active search; the latter using a mix of site and project suitable techniques including hand searching and the use of artificial refuges placed around a site to encourage reptiles to take up residence underneath them. Examples of some appropriate reptile survey techniques can be found within the Reptile and Amphibian Common Standards Monitoring Guidance.
Reptile surveys can only be undertaken during periods whilst reptiles are active and this can depend heavily on weather conditions. It is generally accepted that the survey season is March to October with the optimal months being April, May and September.
Results from a detailed reptile surveys can be used to inform land purchase, development and project works and schedules, impact assessments and, where necessary, to obtain an appropriate wildlife mitigation licences.
Only six native species of reptile are found within the United Kingdom:
All are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) against deliberate or reckless killing and injuring and sale. The Smooth snake and Sand lizard have additional protection under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 (as amended) which prohibits damage or destruction to their breeding sites and resting places.
In England all reptile species are now considered to be Species of Principal Importance for the Conservation of Biodiversity under the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006.
* Due to the potential presence of European Protected Species (Smooth snake and Sand lizard) reptile surveys should be undertaken by a qualified and wildlife licenced individual. Wildlife licences are issued by a relevant governing body (such as Natural England, Natural Resource Wales or Scottish Natural Heritage).
Our staff maintain and enhance their knowledge of ecology and the environment through research, specialist training and by maintaining membership of several professional and specialist bodies including:
If you wish to find out more about permitting, ecology services or to discuss a project or development please contact us directly for a free, non-committal discussion.
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