Otters and their breeding or resting sites are protected by UK and European legislation. It is illegal to kill, injure or take an otter, or to interfere with their breeding or resting sites.
Regulation 41 of the Habitats Regulations 2010, states that a person commits an offence if they:
- deliberately capture, injure or kill an otter;
- deliberately disturb otters; or
- damage or destroy a breeding site or resting place.
Disturbance of animals includes in particular any disturbance which is likely to impair their ability to survive, to breed or reproduce, or to rear or nurture their young, or in the case of animals of a hibernating or migratory species, to hibernate or migrate; or to affect significantly the local distribution or abundance of the species to which they belong.
It is an offence under the Habitats Regulations 2010 for any person to have in his possession or control, to transport, to sell or exchange or to offer for sale, any live or dead otter, part of an otter or anything derived from an otter which has been unlawfully taken from the wild.
Otters are listed on the UK BAP and Section 41 (England) and Section 42 (Wales) of the NERC Act 2006. Otters are also priority species on the Highways Agency (HA) BAP, Leicestershire Local BAP and Warwickshire Local BAP.
The reader should refer to the original legislation for the definitive interpretation.
What we do
One of our experienced ecological consultants will undertake an initial walkover otter survey of the site to assess for potential habitat to support otters and look for signs of otter usage. This will be undertaken prior to any development commencing which may potentially harm otters or disturb their breeding or resting sites.
If evidence of otters is found during the initial otter assessment, a more detailed survey may be required to establish how the site is utilised.
Otter Licence and Mitigation
Works that are likely to impact or disturb otters and their breeding or resting sites may require a licence from the relevant Statutory Nature Government Organisation.
Middlemarch Environmental has a proven track record of successful mitigation design, licence application and implementation.
In addition to otter surveys, Middlemarch Environmental has extensive experience of providing cost-effective ecological solutions for all aspects of otter assessment and mitigation and can also provide the following services:
- Habitat disturbance: provision of experienced ecological clerk of works
- Advising on how to incorporate otters into development
Otter mitigation: design of holts, road underpasses, habitat enhancement and creation of wildlife corridors.