5 Things You Need to Know Before Spring


Great Crested Newt Survey

1. Great Crested Newt, Reptile and Breeding Bird Survey Seasons all begin in March.

Great crested newt surveys have the smallest survey window, from March until June. Reptile surveys can be undertaken between March and October, when reptiles are at their most active, but the optimal times are from April until June and in September. Breeding Bird Surveys can take place from March until September, with monthly Bird Transects taking place in March until July.

2. The window for Great Crested Newt Survey Season is small.

If you have ponds on your site, you will most likely need to undertake a great crested newt survey. The great crested newt season begins in March and ends in June, with its peak period being mid-April to mid-May. REC  carry out two different types of survey; an initial Presence / Absence Survey with four site visits, followed by an extended Population Size Assessments, if great crested newts are found. Allow time for both surveys, as you could need both – and missing the survey window could result in planning being delayed by a full year. Councils will only grant planning permission once all protected species surveys have been undertaken.

3. Wintering Bird Survey Seasons come to an end in March.

Wintering bird surveys should be undertaken between October-March. Wintering habitats or migration stop over locations, are just as important as breeding sites, and need to be considered for any development sites that may hold  species of conservation over winter. Considering wintering birds at the early stages of planning will save time and money – and again, can delay planning if not done in season.

4. Summer Roost Survey Season for Bats begins in May.

Bat survey season will start in May and continue until October. Prior to nocturnal surveys, we recommend having a Daytime Bat Scoping Survey of the trees or buildings on your site to assess their potential to support roosting bats. The results of these surveys will inform the level of nocturnal surveys required later in the season. Daytime Scoping Surveys can be undertaken at any time of the year.

5. REC Ltd can take care of all of the above, wherever you are in the UK.

For more advice on Ecology surveys, take a look at our Ecology Calendar and Spring Fact Sheet here