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European Protected Species (EPS) Mitigation Licensing

Where a European Protected Species (EPS) such as bats or great crested newts (Triturus cristatus) would be impacted by a development, it may be possible to obtain a licence from the relevent statutory body Natural England (NE), Countryside Council for Wales (CCW) or Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH). A licence enables derogation from the strict legislation protecting an EPS, and allows an otherwise unlawful act to proceed.

Dormouse (Muscardinus avellanarius), Toys Hill, Westerham, Kent

In order for the relevent statutory body to grant an EPS licence three strict legal tests have to be met which are as follows:

  • Preserving public health or public safety, or other imperative reasons of overriding public interest including those of a social or economic nature and beneficial consequences of primary importance for the environment;
  • There is no satisfactory alternative; and
  • That the action authorised will not be detrimental to the maintenance of the population of the species concerned at a favourable conservation status in their natural range

EPS licence applications require very detailed information and can become a protracted process, especially on more complex sites. The application must be based on recent survey data, and include an impact assessment as well as details on proposed mitigation. Consequently, a suitably experienced ecological consultant is required to complete these elements of the application. Five Valleys Ecology is able to undertake EPS licence application on behalf of out clients, and make the whole process as efficient as possible.

For more information, or to obtain a free proposal, please contact us. We will be happy to provide you with honest and objective advice specific to your project based upon our extensive experience.

Five Valleys Ecology Ltd


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Survey Season Calendar

Download a copy of our latest Ecology Survey Calendar (pdf, 210 K) to help avoid costly delays to your projects due to missing ecology survey windows.

Start of the Great Crested Newt Survey Season

Surveys for great crested newts (GCNs) can be undertaken from mid-March to mid-June depending on weather conditions. Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) require survey information before planning applications are determined in accordance with Paragraphs 98 and 99 of 'ODPM Circular 06/2005 Biodiversity and Geological Conservation'. We recommend that clients consider the requirement for newt surveys now and plan ahead. Do not miss the narrow GCN survey window. Contact us now to book in surveys and for further advice.

Supreme Court Ruling on the 'Deliberate Disturbance' Offence

In the case of Morge vs Hampshire County Council [2011] UKSC 2 on appeal from: [2010] EWCA Civ 608 the Supreme Court has overruled the Court of Appeal and given a more cautious interpretation of the Article 12(1)(b) 'deliberate disturbance' offence. The Supreme Court believed that the Court of Appeal had set the threshold for 'deliberate disturbance' too high. Whilst no minimum threshold was given by the Supreme Court, a leading environmental lawyer has reviewed the case and believes that in some circumstances disturbance of one or two individuals of a European Protected Species (EPS) may fall within the offence.

Five Valleys Ecology Receive an Ethical Award from the Ethical Company Organisation

Five Valleys Ecology are delighted to have received an Ethical Award and accreditation from the Ethical Company Organisation in recognition of our strong commitment to ethical business practices. The research team stated 'Five Valleys Ecology are commended for puting ethical and environmental considerations at the heart of their business and for providing an ethical alternative within their sector'.


Email us to book a free 15 minute no-obligation consultation to discuss your site and requirements in more detail.