Otter and Watervole Surveys and Services

Why do I need an otter or watervole survey?

Otters suffered significant declines in both population and range and are now protected on both a European and a UK level from killing and injuring, as well as damage, disturbance or obstruction to a place of rest or shelter. Where a development proposal may impact upon otter and/or watervole, an assessment is likely to be required to support a successful Planning Permission.

These two species have slightly different levels of protection, and sometimes occupy different habitats; however many surveys of watercourses and waterbodies will include a survey for field signs of either species.


How can LSC help?

Our team are experienced in undertaking surveys of otters and watervoles in a wide range of different habitats in the UK. If commissioned to undertake a Phase 1 and Protected Species Scoping Survey, we would use this opportunity to assess the potential of your site to support otter and watervole. We take into account a range of factors such as habitats present; their management and condition; the proximity to suitable foraging, burrowing and commuting habitat; and the location of the site in the landscape.

Where an initial survey indicates otter or watervole might be present, the next step is to undertake a presence/absence survey to search for field signs, particuarly foraging signs, footprints, burrows or latrines. If otter or watervole are confirmed, we would provide advice and guidance on how to avoid or minimise impacts to these species in the first instance. Where this is not possible, we would help to design and undertake a mitigation strategy and apply for a licence in order to protect the population both during construction and in the long term. This allows your project to move forwards whilst ensuring that your contractors stay on the right side of the law.

Find out more about the survey types below, or contact us for advice on what surveys you would need to support your project.

Habitat Suitability Assessments

The baseline survey to assess whether suitable habitat for otters and watervole exists on site.

Otter and Watervole Surveys

A survey designed to identify signs and usage of a site by otters and watervole.


Contact our experienced Ecologists for advice with otters and watervoles.