Otters are fully protected under UK and European law and developments affecting otters or their resting places may require a European protected species licence before works can commence.

DWS has the necessary experience in otter surveys and otter mitigation work to deal with all projects where there are potential impacts on otters. 

Initial Assessment

 As otters are active all year and live in and alongside a range of aquatic and terrestrial habitats all water bodies and coastal areas within 100 metres of the site boundary should be surveyed.

Further Survey Work

If evidence of otter is found during the initial assessment a more detailed survey will need to be undertaken to ascertain the level of usage by otters and whether these are breeding sites and/or contain natal dens or resting places.

Licence Application

A development licence must be obtained from Natural England for checking holts or for carrying out work that may disturb otters. Licences must be issued prior to commencement of works and should be applied for at least one month in advance. Mitigation measures must also be in place, and only in extreme circumstances will the licensing authority permit the destruction of holts or other otter resting places.

Survey Timings

Surveys can be undertaken at any time of year and must be undertaken by a suitably experienced ecologist. Otters can breed at any time of year, therefore there is no preferred season in which to undertake operations in order to limit disturbance. Works may have to be delayed if otters are found to be breeding on site.

Contact DWS to discuss your survey requirements -

01388 488 885

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