All wild birds and their nests and eggs are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended). Certain birds, generally the UK’s least common or most threatened breeding species, are listed under Schedule 1 of the Act. These are specially protected species, and offences against them are subject to additional penalties.

DWS can provide the full spectrum of  surveys and bird mitigation schemes and management strategies.

Initial Survey

An initial bird survey will be carried out to assess how suitable the site is for breeding and wintering birds, during this time bird sightings will be recorded to get an overall sense of the site. A special emphasis is placed on the areas suitability for Schedule 1 and UKBAP species. If evidence of rare birds or bird breeding habitat is found further surveys may be required.

Further Survey Work

After the initial survey further bird survey work may be required this may include -

Wintering Bird Surveys

At least four visits between September and March (the key months are December, January and February) to record feeding and/or roosting.

Breeding Bird Surveys

Consisting of two to ten visits recording and mapping all bird species seen or heard and their behaviour, such as gathering material for nesting, feeding young, fighting and territorial calls. Bird surveys are undertaken using a BTO Common Bird Census technique and conducted between the 1st April and 30th June.

Specialist Bird Surveys

Involves specialist bird survey techniques for individual protected bird species, such as barn owls, and to gather more detailed population estimates for important bird habitats such as estuaries, SPA and RAMSAR sites.

Nesting Bird Survey

Bird nests can be searched for by hand immediately prior to development. This is a last resort and is only practical for small areas of scrub, individual trees and bushes. The number of visits will depend on the size and the importance of key bird species present from the initial survey.

Bird mitigation

If a nest is discovered during work all operations must stop until breeding has finished and work can only continue outside of a buffer zone around the nest site in order to  prevent disturbance of nesting birds.

Any work which is likely to cause disturbance to nesting birds, such as scrub and hedgerow removal, lake and ditch clearance, building alterations and maintenance work must be take place outside the breeding season (1st March to 31st August).

Schedule 1 species require much greater consideration and bespoke proposals to suit the individual situation are likely to be required.

Contact DWS to discuss your requirements -

01388 488 885

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