• What are protected species doing this month?
  • Find out how habitat management can influence the species (and therefore surveys required) on your site.
  • New bat survey guidelines – what does this mean for you?

What are protected species doing during APRIL?

Is a survey possible?
Active Yes
Increasingly active Initial surveys possible
Nesting Yes
Waking up! Yes – peak survey time
Great crested newts
In ponds
Yes – peak survey time
Active Yes – peak survey time
Water voles
White-clawed crayfish Reduced activity Habitat suitability survey
If you have upcoming projects that will require ecological surveys, we recommend getting your Preliminary Ecological Appraisal booked in as soon as possible. Then, if further surveys for protected species such as bats, dormice, reptiles, great crested newts, birds etc. are required, these can be undertaken this survey season rather than having to wait until next year.

Key points to remember:
* Some surveys need to be undertaken throughout the season over a series of months. Therefore, if you do not start the surveys until later on in the summer you may have to wait until spring/summer 2017 to complete them.
* The survey window for great crested newts is particularly narrow  (mid-March to mid-June)
Stay on track with your project,  contact us today to avoid unnecessary delays! 

How habitat management can influence the species (and therefore surveys required) on your site.

Habitat management is important in maintaining or changing habitat suitability for different protected species.
For example, if you stop grazing a field, the grassland can develop from low value habitat for reptiles to high value. This subsequently increases the requirement for reptile surveys and therefore, hindering and delaying your project.
If you are fortunate to own your land in advance of your proposed development, we can advise you how to manage the habitat on site to minimise the impact the wildlife will have on you, and the impact you may have on wildlife.
Planning ahead can help to ensure ecological surveys don’t hold up your project. If you need more help and advice, call our friendly team how will be happy to help.
Habitat management Acorn Ecology

NEW bat survey guidelines

  • Following extensive feedback from different user groups the Bat Conservation Trust has produced Bat Surveys for Professional Ecologists: Good Practice Guidelines (3rd edition). The guidelines were revised, updated and reviewed by experts and feature new chapters and content. This is the essential reference guide for professional ecologists working with bats.

    Overview of main changes


    The guidelines have been re-structured to improve accessibility and flow: the chapters follow the process of bat surveys from design through survey types to data analysis and reporting.
    New sections and chapters include:
    • Elements that influence survey design
    • Species core sustenance zones
    • Preliminary ecological appraisal for bats
    • Framework for assessing suitability
    • Bat roost inspection surveys for trees
    • Acoustic surveys at potential swarming sites
    • Advanced licence bat survey techniques
    • Data analysis and interpretation
    • Protocol for collecting droppings for DNA analysis

What does this mean for you?


These guidelines are not meant as a prescription for professional bat work. It is not their aim to override professional judgement and they cannot be used to replace experience.
Unfortunately, cases of poor practice do occur, both as a result of inexperience and the misinterpretation of the principles by less experienced surveyors and planners. For you, this is an update for your ecological consultant to provide enhanced good practice guidance and to advise you on the type and level of survey required for different habitats in order to adequately ascertain their use by bats.
It’s good to know then, that Acorn Ecology is one of the top providers of ecology consultancy and conservation courses in the UK. Established for over 13 years we have licensed bat workers and bat trainers as part of our team to provide the very best help, advice and surveys for your project.

The cost effective choice for your wildlife surveys

Exeter        01392 366512 / 07818 073660

Bristol     01179 232768 / 07971 994324

Guildford   01483 382821 / 07443 652988  

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