Otters are fully protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) and the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 such that it is an offence, amongst other things to i) to deliberately capture, kill or injure any Otter; ii) damage or destroy a breeding site or resting place used by Otters (whether they are in it at the time or not); iii) deliberately disturb Otters in a way that is likely to impair their ability to hibernate, survive or reproduce, or in a way that is likely to affect significantly their local distribution or abundance; iv) intentionally or recklessly disturb Otters while occupying a place of shelter or protection, or attempt to do so; v) intentionally or recklessly obstruct access to any place of shelter or protection, or attempt to do so.
The potential for Otters to be present is considered as a standard part of our Preliminary Ecological Appraisal and, where suitable habitat exists on a site, river or streams may be subjected to a more detailed Otter survey with a search for evidence. Field signs of Otter, such as spraints and feeding remains, are searched for in likely places and the locations of any potential Otter holts are mapped, all from EECOS’ own survey boat where necessary.
Potential impacts on Otters can usually be successfully resolved through precautionary measures outlined by EECOS in a survey report, which could accompany a planning application. Where impacts on an Otter holt are unavoidable then a European Protected Species Licence would be required, which EECOS can submit on behalf of the client, after consultation with Natural England and the Essex Wildlife Trust Water for Wildlife Officer.
EECOS can also assist with enhancement measures, including the provision of Otter ledges under new or restored bridges and the creation of artificial Otter holts.
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 Otter surveys in Essex and surrounding counties, including Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Kent and London.