Otters can live on a variety of watercourses including rivers, canals, lakes and reservoirs, estuaries, coasts, streams, ponds, bogs and marshes, and occur in both rural and urban areas, including major cities. Otters are fully protected against killing, capture, injury and disturbance and any places they use for shelter or protection, (their holts or dens) are protected against damage, destruction or obstruction, under The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 (as amended) and The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended).
If development is predicted to impact upon any suitable otter habitat, then presence/absence surveys may be required. Our surveyors search the watercourse for signs of otter including spraints, feeding remains, footprints, holts and tracks. Our experienced team can carry out otter surveys at any time of the year and provide pragmatic, effective advice to developers.
Works that cannot avoid disturbance to otter will require a Licence from Natural England before development can proceed. Lizard Landscape Design and Ecology can provide advice on all aspects of otter survey and mitigation including advice on incorporating otters into the development, licence application where this is not possible, ecological clerk of works role and design and installation of artificial holts, underpasses and other habitat creation.