All six reptile species are fully protected by the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) and rare reptiles (smooth snake and sand lizard) also receive legal protection under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 (‘Habitat Regulations’). Smooth snakes and sand lizards have a very restricted range of small populations in the South of England.
Any development work that has the potential to injure/kill reptiles and/or impact on reptile habitat will require a reptile survey to be carried out by a suitably qualified ecologist. If impacts are unavoidable, we compile a mitigation plan and translocation programme to allow the development to continue lawfully.
Reptile surveys can be carried out in dry weather with temperatures above 9 degrees celcius between March and September. Surveys are carried out by setting out artificial refuiga formed of roofing materials, such as felt or corrugated sheet, on site before these are checked for reptiles on seven occassions, typically over a period of approximately one month.
It is possibble to mitigate the impact of development projects or land management on reptiles. Reptile mitigation follows the following procedure:
1. If reptiles are shown to be present by surveys, the allocation and survey of a reptile translocation site (ideally on-site and incorporated into the development but may be suitable habitat off site).
2. Enhancement of a reptile translocation site.
3. Erection of reptile fencing and translocation of reptiles.
4. Monitoring of the translocated population.
We are able to assist and advise on all these aspects of reptile survey, mitigation and habitat management