Surveys for European Protected Species

If you are undertaking a development or activity that would affect a European Protected Species (EPS), you will probably need a licence from Natural Resources Wales (NRW). You will need a survey first, to help this decision

EPS are protected under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017, which lists several offences (see European Protected Species). If you have a valid purpose, we can grant you a licence to undertake the work legally. If there is a reasonable likelihood of works affecting an EPS, the first step is to engage a consultant ecologist to conduct a survey / assessment.

The survey should determine which species use the site, the way in which they use the site and their requirements during and post-development. Your local planning authority may have asked you for ecological surveys in support of a planning application. The results of such surveys are needed before a planning application is submitted.

Any ecologist carrying out survey work and providing advice for a proposed development should normally have a licence (issued by NRW) to survey the species concerned. See ‘Guidance on Engaging Ecologists’ for more information. Other guidance on surveys and mitigation can be obtained by following the links on this page.

For information on obtaining a licence, see ‘Do I need an EPS licence?’ and ‘Information to be provided in an EPS licence application’.