Otters and their resting sites, above and below ground are protected by law.
In order to ensure legal compliance, as well as to satisfy Local Planning Authorities, it is often necessary undertake a preliminary otter survey, to check for signs of otter and potential resting sites. This involves experienced ecologists checking up and down a watercourse and its banks during daylight hours.
If signs of otter are recorded and there are suitable resting sites, that could be affected by a proposal, further otter surveys are required to determine if the potential is being used. The further otter surveys, repeat the preliminary otter survey on several occasions over the year. On certain sites, where suitable breeding or rearing holts are identified and disturbance from the survey is likely a specific survey licence is required, our expert ecologists have held these site-specific licences.
Should an otter resting site be present within or in close proximity to a development site, where it is likely that the otters will be either disturbed or harmed, a derogation licence from the statutory conservation body may be required.
A derogation licence issued by the statutory government bodies; Natural England, Scottish Natural Heritage or Natural Resources Wales. Our expert ecologists design a mitigation and compensation strategy suitable for submission for a derogation licence, the licence acts as a legal document. Our highly experienced ecologists are at hand to advise and support Clients through at all stages of this process, this includes preparing licence applications to statutory conservation bodies and overseeing and implementing the exclusion works and all mitigation works.