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You’re never going to be short of things to do when you’re planning a major home improvement project. This goes double if you’re thinking of building a home from scratch. You’re going to have to think about everything from making a budget cushion to factoring in potential supply shortages. But you’re also going to have to think about how your project is going to affect the area around you.

You may need to carry out a wildlife survey if you’re doing any work outside of your four walls. They’re designed to assess the impact of a project on local wildlife and to identify any protected species that may be affected. What might look like a simple issue like removing a tree could actually have a huge array of consequences.

What Is A Wildlife Survey?

A wildlife survey is an assessment of the impact of a development on the local wildlife. This can include surveys for birds, bats, reptiles, and other protected species. They are there to identify any protected species that may be affected by the development and to provide recommendations on how to mitigate any potential impacts.

Why Are Wildlife Surveys Required?

Wildlife surveys are required to ensure that development does not harm protected species or their habitats. In the UK, it is illegal to harm or even disturb protected species or the areas where they live without a license. This means that developers must carry out wildlife surveys before starting work on a project to identify any of these species that may be present and to provide recommendations on how to avoid or mitigate any potential impacts. The list of protected species is pretty long and given how many stories we’ve seen over the last few years about everything from birds to hedgehogs struggling, there could be more on the way. The changing climate is having a huge impact on our nation’s wildlife, and they need all the support they can get.

When Are Wildlife Surveys Required?

They are required for any project that has the potential to impact protected species or their habitats. Now, you might think that this would mostly apply to major construction work like building a new factory or tearing down an old one. But the list can include new build houses, extensions, and renovations. The type of survey required will depend on the type of development and the local wildlife present.

There’ll be more on the different types of wildlife surveys in just a moment.

Who Carries Out Wildlife Surveys?

Wildlife surveys should be carried out by a qualified ecologist or wildlife consultant. These professionals have the knowledge and experience to identify protected species and to provide recommendations on how to avoid or mitigate any potential impacts.

It’s important to choose a reputable consultant with experience in carrying out wildlife surveys. They should be a member of a professional body such as the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) and should have appropriate insurance.

For example, say you’re thinking of renovating a barn on your property. It might look like there’s no wildlife that you need to worry about. But barns and old roofs are perfect spots for bats to roost in. You’re going to need to find a reputable bat survey team before you get started on any kind of work. Visit 24Housing to find out more about how you can get a fast quote for your specific needs and to get in touch with a team that can help you.

Types Of Wildlife Surveys

Several types of wildlife surveys may be required for a home improvement project. These include:

Bat Surveys

Bat surveys are required if there is a potential for bats to be affected by the development. There are 18 different species of bat in the UK, and they are all legally protected. That means that it’s illegal to disturb or harm them or their roosts without a license. A bat survey will assess the potential for bats to be affected by the development and will provide recommendations on how to avoid or mitigate any potential impacts.

Reptile Surveys

This is something that you’ll need to consider if you’re renovating, extending, or building a property near the water, but it’s always a good idea just in case you’re out in the countryside. Reptiles, including snakes and lizards, are protected under UK law. So, just like bats, it’s illegal to disturb or harm them or their habitats unless you have the proper license.

Bird Surveys

Birds have been having a very tough time in the UK over the last several years. Climate change has had a real impact on migration patterns and the type of food and shelter that they need in order to survive. What’s more, many of the places where birds might expect to roost have either been removed or altered. Trees have been brought down to make room for new properties, roads, or farming. Houses with old roofs that have previously offered shelter have either been rebuilt or renovated. It’s more important than ever that a qualified bird survey team check your property before any potential damage can be done.

Great Crested Newt Surveys

You’d certainly know a Great Crested Newt if you saw one! They are the UK’s biggest newt, and they are a wonderful combination of dark colour on top with a fiery orange belly underneath. You’re most likely to find them in Wales and lowland areas of England, so if you’re working on properties in this area then you’re going to need a survey. Great Crested Newts are another protected species and their continued presence in the UK is important internationally as well. They tend to be found around ponds in summer, but they may be in woodlands, marshes, grassland, and hedges. Perhaps most importantly, they hibernate during the winter in the walls of old houses and around tree roots.

Tree Surveys

Finally, you are going to need to commission a tree survey if you’re going to be interfering with any on your property. There are several protected UK species, but you might also be messing with the habitat of any of the animals mentioned above. A surveyor will look at current growth as well as think about what’s to come in the future.