If your preliminary ecological appraisal has identified habitats on site which could support reptiles, you may be asked for a reptile survey before your planning permission is granted; this is because reptiles and their habitats are protected under UK and European legislation. Our team of ecologists understand current legislation and are able to supply the required reports for a successful planning application.


Where do Reptiles live?

The four more common reptile species are widespread throughout England and Wales, although their distribution is patchy as a result of habitat requirements. Sand lizard and smooth snake are particularly rare and have more localised populations. Habitats favoured by reptiles include, rough grassland, hedgerows, dense scrub, woodland edges and heathland. Railway embankments are also highly suitable for basking and foraging reptiles. Grass snakes require waterbodies with adjacent terrestrial habitat that offers sufficient shelter from predators. 

Why are Reptiles protected?

Reptiles in the UK are protected under legislation and two species, the sand lizard and smooth snake are afforded protection under European legislation. The potential presence of reptiles are a material consideration in the planning process and their presence (or likely absence) must be established prior to the determination of the planning application.

What happens on a Reptile Survey?

Reptile surveys involve laying suitable artificial refuges on site where reptiles will bask under and checking these refuges on several occasions to check for the presence of reptiles.

If no reptiles are found, we will produce a report detailing this which can be submitted with the application to the planning authority. Usually, no further works are subsequently recommended.

What happens if Reptiles are present on my site?

If reptiles are present, we will continue surveys until an estimate of the population size can be reliably understood; this information will feed in to an appropriate mitigation strategy which will be submitted with the planning application.

Upon granting of permission on a site with reptiles, a capture and translocation exercise is usually required to ensure sufficient effort is employed to avoid harm to reptiles in line with legislation. Should European protected species be present, a mitigation licence from Natural England will likely be required.

Please refer to our Ecology Survey Calendar for further information on reptile and other protected species surveys.

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Wharton undertook an initial bat survey which identified suitable areas for roosting bats and evidence of bat activity (droppings).



Wharton undertook a preliminary ecological appraisal, bat activity and emergence/return to roost surveys, and completed a shadow Habitat …

Wharton undertook an initial bat survey which identified suitable areas for roosting bats and evidence of bat activity (droppings).

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