The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) makes it an offence, amongst other things, to: i) kill or injure any wild bird; ii) take, damage or destroy the nest of any bird included in Schedule 1 of the Act (whether it is occupied or not); (iii) take, damage or destroy the nest of any wild bird while that nest is in use or being built; iv) take or destroy the egg of any wild bird; v) disturb any bird species included in Schedule 1 of the Act while it is building a nest, or is in, on or near any nest containing eggs or young; vi) disturb the dependent young of any bird included in Schedule 1.
In Essex and the surrounding counties the following Schedule 1 birds are all known to breed regularly: Barn Owl, Little Ringed Plover, Little Tern, Firecrest, Kingfisher, Avocet, Cetti’s Warbler, Peregrine, Hobby and Bearded Tit. The presence of these birds during the breeding season may be a material consideration, in planning terms, and surveys for Barn Owls in particular are often requested by Local Planning Authorities.
Licences to permit one of the offences described above in relation to a Schedule 1 species may only be issued by Natural England for reasons of preserving public health or public safety, and so their unexpected presence could lead to a significant delay.
The presence of these birds is considered during all of our Preliminary Ecological Appraisal / Phase 1 survey work, but we can also carry out targeted Barn Owl surveys / schedule 1 bird surveys to search for whichever species may be present on your site, utilising the most appropriate methodology. This might involve early morning visits to record singing males or, in the case of Barn Owls, a thorough search of available nest sites (stage 1 and 2 surveys only - see IEEM Barn Owl Survey document at their website).
If you require a quote please send an email to us at firstname.lastname@example.org including a brief description of what is proposed, timescales, site plans and any correspondence received from the Local Planning Authority. Alternatively you can contact us in the office on 01621 862986. We can carry out Barl Owl surveys / Schedule 1 bird surveys in Essex and surrounding counties, including Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Kent and London.