Surveys for reptiles

There are six types of reptile in the UK, three snakes and three lizards – including slow worms a legless lizard that can be confused with a snake. All are legally protected in UK law and smooth snakes and sand lizards in European law, and can be an issue in planning decisions so it is important to know if they are on your site and in what numbers.

Different reptiles are found in different areas but anywhere with long grass or dense scrub can be suitable. A Preliminary Ecological Appraisal will identify if reptiles may be on your site and recommend appropriate survey work.

Surveys require at least six visits, which must be carried out between April and June or in September so it is important to plan surveys as early as possible, especially if planning permission depends on the results.

Where protected species are found on a site this doesn’t have to mean a block on development. There can be solutions – see protected species licencing and mitigation.

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