Regulations for protected species

National legislation (primarily the Wildlife and Countryside Act) protects certain species of wild plants, birds and animals. The presence of populations, and sometimes even individuals, of these protected species can affect planning permission. Consent can be delayed and even refused if inadequate information is provided on the species in question.

APEM’s experienced consultants support clients through the process of gathering the relevant information. This includes evaluating it, assessing impacts, identifying mitigation actions and preparing reports and plans to support an application to the planning authority and the statutory nature conservation body.

Desk study, scoping survey and site surveys

The first step is a desk study by APEM which will identify what is already known about an area or site. This may identify that sufficient information is already available and that further surveys are not required.

When required the second step is to undertake a protected species scoping survey. This will identify if there is evidence for, or a reasonable likelihood of, protected species being present on the site or potentially affected by the proposed development.

The subsequent step, if required, is to carry out any necessary species-specific surveys. APEM consultants have in-depth experience of many wetland and aquatic species surveys including those for otter, water vole, crayfish and great crested newt.

  • Water Vole Protected species
  • River lamprey
  • Close up of claw of a white-clawed crayfish

Surveys and EIAs

APEM consultants also have nationally recognised expertise in surveys for protected fish species including allis shad, twaite shad, bullhead, brook lamprey, river lamprey, sea lamprey and spined loach.

All our surveys are carried out at the correct time of year, using methods that are right for the species and the area in question, and comply with guidance issued or endorsed by the relevant statutory nature conservation body.

After all the relevant information is available it is evaluated and assessed for likely impacts on the protected species. APEM consultants can prepare an Ecological Impact Assessment (EIA), in accordance with the guidelines issued by CIEEM, for developments that are of a scale or nature that a formal EIA is not required. If a formal EIA is required, APEM consultants can prepare an ecology chapter for the Environmental Statement.

In relevant circumstances, mitigation proposals and/or a management plan might be necessary and this can also be prepared by APEM consultants. We can also provide an ecological clerk of works and post-consent monitoring for protected species as required.

If you have any queries, please contact Dr Roger Buisson, principal ornithologist.
Alternatively you can email us here. Or call 0161 442 8938.