The European otter is a European protected species as well as being fully protected under Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. This legislation makes it an offence to kill, injure, capture or disturb otters, or to damage or destroy their habitats.
Surveys carried out will illustrate how otters and water voles are present and currently using the Site, and what (if any) mitigation measures can be employed to minimise impact to their sites.
Should there be a watercourse at or near to a development site, an otter survey should be carried out to assess it’s potential to support otters.
Otter surveys can be carried out at any time of the year, although best carried out when bankside vegetation is low, when evidence is easier to find. Evidence of otters includes dung (spraints), footprints, feeding remains, slides into water, underground dens (holts) and above ground resting sites (couches).
For sites where otters and confirmed to be present, suitable mitigation, avoidance or compensation measures may need to be provided to ensure no negative impacts upon otters locally, in adherence with wildlife law and legislation.
Please refer to our Ecology Survey Calendar for further information on otter and other protected species surveys.