Common reptiles (Adder, Common Lizard, Grass Snake and Slow Worm) are ‘partially protected’ under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, which means that while the animals themselves are protected from killing or injury, their habitat is not. While the presence of these species is generally not a constraint to development per se, it is nevertheless incumbent upon the developer to take steps to avoid harming them. Typically this would involve the retention and enhancement of a part of the site as dedicated reptile habitat, and/or a capture and translocation exercise. Ecology Solutions is able to advise on the most appropriate course of action for the given circumstances, liaising with consultees as necessary.
Smooth Snake and Sand Lizard are much rarer species, and consequently are subject to the full protection of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017. Owing to their highly restricted range and distribution, they are not often encountered in a development context; nonetheless, Ecology Solutions has staff licensed to carry out the requisite surveys, and can provide tailored advice to ensure compliance with the legislation.
Surveys for reptiles can be undertaken between the months of April and October.