Specialist otter surveys are important as otters may breed up to 0.5km from the water and an expert will know how to identify and appraise the area correctly. It is extremely important not to have any negative impact on these strictly protected mammals or their habitat. Most problems associated with them can be resolved by early action, adequate otter surveys and adherence to procedural rules.
Wherever development will unavoidably affect structures or habitat that may be used by the species, advance otter surveys must be conducted by a suitably-trained and experienced zoologist to assess the impact of the proposals. Survey methods can be expected to include specialist investigations of the site and associated movement corridors, local records searches and, in some cases, monitoring using remote trail cameras.
Otters are shy and predominantly nocturnal creatures and otter survey techniques usually focus on searching for field signs such as footprints, droppings, holts and worn paths alongside water courses. As otters are active all year round, there are no restrictions as to survey periods.
Licensing and mitigation
Before undertaking any works that may impact upon otters, a licensed ecologist may need to apply for a derogation licence from the appropriate statutory body for nature conservation. This licence permits operations which would otherwise constitute an offence and our ecologist will work with you to develop a suitable mitigation plan.
Please phone our friendly team on 01886 888445.