Water Vole and Otter Surveys

Water Voles
Water vole surveys are usually undertaken by an experienced ecologist during the breeding season. The water vole survey looks for water vole field signs such as droppings and latrines, burrows, grazed lawns around burrow entrances and feeding remains.

Water Vole & Otter Surveys from Leigh Ecology

The water vole (Arvicola terrestris) is the largest of Britain's native vole. It is protected under the UK law and its population has declined over the past century due to habitat fragmentation, pollution, river canalisation, and predation by American mink (Mustela vison).

It is an offence to damage water vole burrows or kill/injure individuals.

Mitigation strategies must be designed prior to any works, and a license will be required whenever a disturbance to water voles or damage to their burrows is likely to occur.

European or Eurasian otters (Lutra lutra) are semi-aquatic mammals and are largely nocturnal. Otters and their habitats are fully protected under both UK and European legislation. The otter is a Priority Species under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan.

A license will be required whenever an otter survey shows the presence of otters on or near a development site. As otters can breed at any time of year, there is no preferred time within the year to undertake works in order to avoid/limit disturbance of local otters. However if otters are found breeding on site, works may have to be delayed.