European Protected Species Surveys

Protected / Priority Species Surveys

Part of our ecological services is the undertaking of species surveys for faunal species. Our surveying experience covers European Protected Species, Priority Species (Section 41 NERC) and Species of Conservation Concern.

A number of UK species are offered legal protected under both European and UK (domestic) law; European Protected Species are protected by the Habitats and Species Regulations (and subsequent amendments). Other UK species are protected solely under UK law- the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) serves as legislative protection for most other species.

Some European Protected Species are protected from disturbance which makes it illegal to survey, capture or be in contact with their places of protection or rest, such as a bat roost. In these cases personal survey licences are required to enable potential disturbance to occur. To gain and hold the licence the surveyor must be suitably experienced and knowledgeable with regard to that species or group.

We can offer the entire range of species survey and our specialist ecologists have the personal survey licences needed to conduct this work and advise you on any legal requirements. Please see our Protected Species pages for information on individual species.

Development licences are sometimes required to enable works (under mitigation) to proceed whilst remaining within the law and avoiding risk of committing an offence. Our ecologists can advise you on the need for this and have the expertise necessary to obtain the licence.

Species surveys are required initially at the planning stage of any development and need to satisfy planning policy and current wildlife legislation. We can advise you on the level of survey needed to accompany any planning application and meet with Local Authority obligations.

Not all of our species work is development led, we have also conducted survey work on National Nature Reserves and for statutory organisations such as Natural England and Scottish Natural Heritage.

Our specialist ecology team at OpenSpace can advise further. Please contact us on 01228 711841 or email

Updated April 2017