Otters are a European Protected Species, and are fully protected under the Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations 1994 (as amended). This protection also extends to their resting sites. An otter survey is likely to be required if a development site hosts or is adjacent to a watercourse, coastline, wetland area or pond. We have extensive experience of otter survey on both urban and rural sites throughout Scotland for a variety of development types, including hydro-electric schemes, wind farms and other construction projects. Survey methods include daytime survey and remote camera monitoring.
If a breeding or resting site is likely to be affected by development, then detailed otter survey will be needed and a licence may be required before works can begin. We can advise on working methods and locations to minimise disturbance to otters. Any licence application will require a species protection plan with detailed mitigation proposals which may include measures such as the supervision of nearby works, the erection of exclusion fencing, and in some cases the construction of an artificial otter holt.