There are six native species of reptile in England. Our native lizards are the common lizard, the slow-worm and the sand lizard. Our native snakes are the adder , the smooth snake and the grass snake.
Reptiles are ectothermic; they are unable to produce or regulate their own body heat internally and rely on behavioural mechanisms (i.e. basking) to regulate their body temperature using external heat sources. Reptile activity and behaviour is thus heavily influenced by the weather. In general, the inactive season is between October and March. Even during the active season, between April and September, levels of activity are weather dependent.
Reptiles tend to occur in areas of free-draining soil. They are found in a variety of habitats, including rough grassland, scrub and woodland edges, and man-made areas such as road and railway embankments, brownfield sites and gardens. In general, the requirements are a habitat ‘mosaic’, offering areas in which to bask, to seek refuge and to forage (mainly for invertebrates, although grass snakes tend to take amphibians whilst adders and smooth snakes largely eat other reptiles and small mammals).
Our team can provide all bat surveys commonly required for development including the following:
Building inspections and assessment of potential roosting features
Collection and DNA analysis of bat droppings to confirm species
Activity surveys of buildings to record bats as they emerge or return to their roost
Transect surveys of potential bat habitat
Remote sensing of bat activity using static bat detectors
All common species of reptile are protected under Schedule 5 of the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981. Species such as the adder, grass snake, common lizard and slow-worm are listed in respect to Section 9 (1) & (5). For these species, it is prohibited to:
Intentionally (or recklessly) kill or injure these species
Sell, offer or expose for sale, possess or transport for purpose of sale these species, or any part thereof.
The penalty for the above listed offences can be a fine up to level 5 (£5,000) on the standard scale per offence, and/or a prison sentence of up to six months. Harm to more than one animal may be taken as separate offences, and the police may confiscate any equipment used to commit the offence.
Sand lizards and smooth snakes are afforded more protection from both the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and the Conservation of Habitats & Species Regulations 2010;
Mitigation & Compensation
If bats are present and will be affected by the development appropriate mitigation and compensation measures have to be taken to minimise any negative impact on the bat population. Mitigation measures are typically practices which aim to reduce or remove damage (e.g. by changing the layout of a scheme, or altering the timing of the work). Compensation refers to the creation of new features to offset the damage that was caused by the activities.
We can advise and recommend appropriate mitigation and compensation measures for a scheme.