When planning new developments there are many different rules and regulations for you to abide by, including ones that may not be so well known to you or necessarily at the top of your priorities. However, they are crucial for your plans to achieve planning permission and to provide the information that the LPA need to determine the application guidelines.
A dormouse survey fits into this category. The small furry creatures are unfortunately already extinct in many parts of Britain due to woodland management, farming practices, loss of hedgerows and the fragmentation of woodland, but they can still be found in the southern parts of England and Wales, and, most importantly, are protected by UK and European Law.
By doing any of the following, or by not taking due care when potential dormouse habitat is cleared, you could land yourself 6 months in prison and a £5,000 fine per offence:
• capture, kill, disturb or injure hazel dormice.
• damage or destroy a breeding or resting place of dormice.
• obstruct access to their resting or sheltering places.
• possess, sell, control or transport live or dead hazel dormice, or parts of hazel dormice.
At agb Environmental we have our own in-house team of ecology specialists – licensed by Natural England to conduct a full dormice survey for you. We can survey your site, identify if the habitat may be suitable for dormice, and provide advice on the likely implications for the proposed development. We’ll help you to find the most cost-effective and expedient way for your development to proceed lawfully.
Dormouse surveys must be conducted in the spring as dormice are in hibernation for the winter months. It’s best to start as soon as you can since a full survey takes a few months. Nesting-tubes are fixed to vegetation and must be checked over several months for the survey to be valid and accepted by the LPA.
Now in March, with the first day of spring quickly approaching, it is the perfect time to get in contact with us at agb Environmental and find out if a dormouse survey is likely to be required for any development plans you may have this year.
For advice relating to ecology surveys, contact Principal Ecologist Odette Robson at agb Environmental on 01638 663226 or email firstname.lastname@example.org