Otter and Watervole Surveys: Habitat Suitability Assessment
What is a Habitat Suitability Assessment?
Habitat Suitability Assessments look at a range of factors to provide an overview of the suitability of onsite habitats to provide habitat for otters and watervoles.
In some cases, a baseline habitat suitability assessment is the only survey type required to support a Planning Application - often this will be conducted as part of a Phase 1 Habitat Assessment. Sometimes the assessment will identify suitable conditions for otter or watervole and then it may be necessary to assess whether a population is present in order to meet Best Practice.
How can LSC help?
We can provide a robust and reliable assessment of otter and watervole habitat suitability on your site, taking into account a variety of variables including habitats, condition and management, presence of sites for burrows or holts, aspect and situation within the landscape. Our ecologists have a wide field of experience in undertaking otter and watervole presence/absence surveys across a range of sites and this feedback helps to generate a greater awareness and understanding of the conditions in which otter or watervole would be expected.
If we are commissioned to undertake a Phase 1 Habitat Assessment, we will routinely conduct an assessment of suitability for otter and watervole during our site visit in order to provide the best service to our clients. This allows the identification of potential ecological receptors at an early stage in the scheme where steps can be taken to avoid, minimise or mitigate the impact. We have consistently found that this early identification can save time and money for our clients, as well as reduce the extent to which these species impact upon their designs.
Our surveys are completed to the Best Practice Guidelines outlined by Natural England and the Mammal Society, and our reports consistently provide the information required by our clients to secure Planning Permission.
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