All reptiles are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended), making it illegal to intentionally kill or injure a common reptile. Rare reptiles (the smooth snake and sand lizard) also receive legal protection under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010.
It is illegal to deliberately injure, kill, capture or disturb a rare reptile, or to damage or obstruct any place used for shelter or protection. Rare reptiles may only be handled by licensed ecologists.
All reptile species are species of principle importance under the Natural Environment Rural Communities (NERC) Act 2006, and local authorities and other public bodies have a legal duty to take their conservation into account. Because of this, they are a material consideration in the planning process.
Reptiles Native to UK
There are six native species of terrestrial reptile. The common species include slow worm, common lizard, grass snake and adder. The smooth snake and sand lizard are restricted in their distribution and are dependent on more specialist habitats.
Reptile surveys are seasonally constrained to spring, summer and autumn and depend on weather conditions.Typically, a reptile survey is undertaken by experienced ecologists using artificial refugia (e.g. roofing felts & tins) when the chances of sightings are greatest.
Visit our Survey Calendar for suitable times for your survey to be conducted.
A European Protected Species (EPS) license, issued by Natural England, will be required for works liable to affect the rarer reptile species. It should be noted that, although not licensable, appropriate mitigation measures need to be implemented to prevent the intentional killing or injury of the four common reptile species (adder, grass snake, common lizard and slow worm). Mitigation for common reptile species typically involves the setting of a reptile-exclusion fence in target areas, followed by trapping and translocation of caught animals to suitable receptor sites.
To discuss reptile surveys and reptile mitigation strategies please email us, call us on 01372 824 205 or use our enquiry form below.
For more protected species survey services click here.