Our specialism in working in and around water also extends to the mammals that utilise these areas. There are numerous species that are protected by law and it’s the duty of planners and developers to recognise when a protected species may be affected by a project.
At Five Rivers Environmental, we provide consultancy services so that we can conduct the surveys to identify if a species may be affected and perform any mitigation works. Our riparian mammal services include both water voles and otters.
Water Vole Surveys
Water vole numbers have declined due to invasive species and habitat destruction. The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 protects water voles and their habitats, so it’s essential that surveys are conducted in order to offset any impact on construction works in an area.
We have a team of consultant ecologists with expertise in water voles. We can provide a full water vole survey in riparian zones and undergo mitigation projects.
We’re able to advise on all aspects of water vole conservation. Our team is fully licensed to provide support in water vole trapping, water vole displacement and habitat enhancement for water voles.
Due to hibernation periods when the water vole becomes difficult to detect, it’s best to conduct surveys between April and September. Note that timings may alter depending on location in the UK. We usually recommend that two surveys take place in order to get the most reliable results.
Otter Surveys and Monitoring
An otter survey is required if development will affect habitats, such as rivers, streams, lakes or wetlands, where otters are present.
If an area has history of otter populations then it’s essential that you have a full survey conducted by a fully licensed expert. Evidence that otters are present in the area include the presence of tracks, holts, couches among other signs.
Otter surveys can take place at any point in the year. Early spring provides maximum visibility with limited vegetation on banks and exposed mud making it easier to spot paw prints.
Five Rivers can give you advice on mitigation, avoidance and compensation methods to cope with any impact on otters, their habitats and water quality to ensure that your projects can go ahead with minimal impact.
Our ecologists can also provide design and construction for compensation methods, such as artificial otter holts and habitat creation to compensate for those that are lost.