ecological consultancy

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Reptile Surveys & Mitigation

jh ecology can provide advice on all aspects of reptile surveys and has experience of working on a variety of projects requiring reptile surveys throughout England, primarily in the South-west including: Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire; but we also carry out reptile surveys across the South-east including: Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, London, Oxfordshire, Surrey and Sussex; and the Midlands including: Birmingham, Herefordshire, Leicestershire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire; and the rest of England. We have provided guidance and expert advice on a range of projects from small to large scale development schemes. We produce reptile survey reports to accompany planning applications and design reptile mitigation measures to satisfy planning conditions.

Adder found in Derbyshire


There are 6 native species of reptile in the UK which receive varying degrees of legal protection (see below). Reptiles inhabit a wide range of habitats and can typically be found on brownfield sites, allotments, compost heaps, railway / road embankments, south-facing banks and rough grassland. Grass snakes will often favour habitats near wetland areas including ponds. Sand lizards and smooth snakes are more often associated with dry heathland (sand lizard is also found in coastal sand dunes). Woodland sites and hedge-banks can be important hibernation sites for reptiles.

Adder, common lizard, grass snake and slow worm are protected under Schedule 5, Section 9 (1 and 5) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) against deliberate or reckless killing and injuring and sale. The sand lizard and smooth snake and their respective habitats are fully protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) and under The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 (as amended). This makes it an offence to: kill, injure, capture, handle or disturb them, and the places they use for breeding, resting, shelter and protection are protected from being damaged or destroyed. It is also illegal to obstruct these animals from using such areas.

Reptile Surveys & Mitigation

jh ecology can advise on all aspects of reptile survey and mitigation, and we use our experience of working with reptiles to find solutions to ensure a successful outcome for our clients and for reptiles.

Reptile survey with slow worm

Slow worm basking on artificial refuge

We can offer the following reptile survey and mitigation services:

  • Initial site appraisal to identify the need for full reptile surveys.
  • Presence / absence surveys and population size assessments.
  • Translocation and exclusion schemes including supervision of installation of reptile exclusion fencing, refuge checking and identification of suitable receptor sites. Please note that this process can take several weeks to complete, to ensure that reptiles are removed from a site. Translocation of reptiles away from a site is only undertaken as a last resort when animals cannot be accommodated within the project design.
  • Habitat creation and enhancement schemes.
  • ‘Tool-box’ talks to site contractors and ecological clerk of works (ECoW).
  • Monitoring and habitat maintenance work.

As with many protected species there are seasonal constraints to undertaking reptile surveys and translocation schemes. Please refer to our Ecological Survey Calendar for seasonal constraints to undertaking reptile surveys and mitigation works.

Please contact us on or 01823 530 084 for further advice or help.