Reptiles in the UK are protected under legislation and two species, the sand lizard and smooth snake are afforded protection under European legislation. The potential presence of reptiles are a material consideration in the planning process and their presence (or likely absence) must be established prior to the determination of the planning application
Reptile surveys involve laying suitable artificial refuges on site where reptiles will bask under and checking these refuges on several occasions to check for the presence of reptiles.
If no reptiles are found, we will produce a report detailing this which can be submitted with the application to the planning authority. Usually no further works are subsequently recommended.
If reptiles are present, we will continue surveys until an estimate of the population size can be reliably understood; this information will feed in to an appropriate mitigation strategy which will be submitted with the planning application.
Upon granting of permission on a site with reptiles, a capture and translocation exercise is usually required to ensure sufficient effort is employed to avoid harm to reptiles in line with legislation. Should European protected species be present, a mitigation licence from Natural England will likely be required.
Please refer to our Ecology Survey Calendar for further information on reptile and other protected species surveys.