Licensing

Licensing

Protected Species Licensing, Mitigation and Compensation

Our ecologists are licensed to work in England and Wales with a range of protected species, including bats, great crested newts, white-clawed crayfish, barn owl and hazel dormouse.

We can undertake advanced surveying for bats including Natural England class 3 and 4 level work involving the use of mist-netting, harp-trapping and sonic lures.

Should protected species be found during survey then a statutory ‘mitigation’ or ‘development’ licence may be required before development works can commence. We hold expertise in this area and can prepare and oversee the subsequent implementation of such Natural England licences.

One of our core services to clients is European Protected Species (EPS) bat licensing. Although the UK left the European Union (EU) on January 31st 2020 much of the EU legislation is still in place and will be for some time. We have built up a substantial portfolio of sites where we have managed the licensing of work affecting bats, including

  • conversion of farm outbuildings and former industrial buildings;
  • building demolition and reconfiguration;
  • conversion and extension of domestic dwellings;
  • engineering works to bridges and tunnels;
  • refurbishment and conservation of important historic buildings and structures, including mansion houses, halls, follies, coach houses, engine and powder houses and former mine workings;
  • repair of churches and chapels.

We guide our clients through the licensing process and have successfully obtained hundreds of EPS bat licences through careful preparation of the licensing application forms and supporting documents and through our experience of acting as the Named Ecologists on licenses.

Our staff are also Registered Consultants (RCs) under Natural England’s Bat Mitigation Class licensing (BMCL; formerly known as the Bat Low Impact Class Licensing). BMCL is a light-touch approach to licensing that subject to meeting certain licensing conditions, allows the removal of bat roosts of low conservation status. As RCs we can register sites under BMCL on behalf of clients, ensuring a smooth and speedy resolution when small numbers of common bat species are present.

We have carried out extensive works involving closure of badger setts and new sett creation and can apply for and hold licences on behalf of clients for development work, as well as ‘damage to land’ operations including live digs.

We have built up our expertise over many years and can provide bespoke advice; mitigation strategies and method statements documenting Reasonable Avoidance Measures (RAMs); and on-site supervision relating to a range of protected species issues, some examples of which are given below:

  • the design of replacement bat roosting provision, replacement bird nesting provision, great created newt habitat, artificial otter holts and reptile hibernation sites;
  • advise on issues arising from works near to badger setts and on the design and construction of artificial setts, and overseeing works affecting setts, including sett closures;
  • work with reptile species, including translocation, site management and use of artificial refugia and hibernation sites;
  • the design and implementation of water vole translocation and exclusion programmes and advice on the conservation and management of water vole populations and habitat;
  • advise on the management of habitat for hazel dormice and have experience in the release of captive bred animals;
  • overseeing the erection of exclusion and protective fencing for badgers, reptiles, great crested newts, breeding bird habitat, trees and hedgerows.