PBA Applied Ecology's team of ecologists have experience surveying, designing mitigation plans, and submitting Natural England licence applications for riparian mammals including water voles and otters. Site surveys assess habitat suitability and record any field signs. This allows us to determine the presence or likely absence of the target species. The data from these surveys are used to inform detailed survey reports, and mitigation/management plans. They also allow informed licence applications to be submitted to Natural England which have a faster approval rate and prevent costly project delays.
What services do we offer?
Our team of ecologists have the necessary experience and licences to offer a full suite of services pertaining to riparian mammals, including:
Riparian mammal habitat suitability assessment – year round
Water vole field sign surveys and detailed mapping – April to September
Water vole mitigation plan
Natural England Licences to disturb or displace water voles
Otter field sign surveys and detailed mapping – year round
Otter mitigation plan
Natural England otter mitigation licence application
Legislation protecting riparian mammals
Water voles are fully protected under Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) and are a UK priority species of conservation concern. Otters are fully protected as a European Protected Species, and under Sections 9 and 11 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended). As such it is a criminal offence to intentionally or recklessly kill, injure or disturb either species, damage or destroy the breeding or resting place of either species, and obstruct the entrance to a breeding or resting place.
Do I need a riparian mammals survey?
If your works will impact river banks and the riparian zone then you are likely to require a riparian mammal habitat suitability assessment to determine the likely presence of protected riparian mammals on your project site. Following the findings of such an initial survey, additional survey, licence and mitigation plans may need to be delivered to keep your project consistent with current UK legislation.
If you have any queries regarding the services your project may require, please contact our Terrestrial team specialists.