Protecting Our Wildlife
NEWTS, LIZARDS & SLOW WORMS
Newts, lizards and slow worms are all protected by legislation and under UK law and therefore householders and landowners must be prepared for the eventuality that any work to be carried out may be subject to obtaining a mitigation licence from Natural England, if nesting and breeding sites are suspected or present and the work cannot be done without disturbing, damaging or destroying the breeding place, or obstructing access to shelter or resting places for the protected species.
Locally of course there has been a great deal of coverage concerning the discovery of breeding grounds for the Great Crested Newt which is a European Protected Species. The reptile, its eggs and breeding sites are all protected by law and again, if you suspect that Great Crested Newts are present in or around the trees to be managed and you can’t avoid disturbing them or their habitats with the planned work, you may be able to get a mitigation licence from Natural England.
In many cases you should be able to avoid harming the protected species, damaging or blocking access to their habitats by adjusting your plans.
However, if this is not possible and a mitigation licence is needed, a full survey of the site will need to be carried out by a specialist and detailed plans will need to be submitted showing how the negative effects of the work to be carried out will be reduced or managed.
In extreme cases (such as for property developments) the plans may also need a consultation on whether the species can be relocated to a new site prior to work commencing. This is most likely to be necessary in the management of large woodlands rather than a small domestic site.