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Species and habitat advice notes and guidance sheets

The Natural Environment Team produces a series of advice notes and guidance sheets.

These advice notes and guidance sheets are aimed at helping planners, developers, their agents and local authority officers understand species and habitats and the planning process.

Advice note

Summary

Bat Advice Note - General (pdf, 496kb) (opens in a new window)

If you are planning to carry out any work that may harm or disturb bats or their roosts (for example re-roofing) regardless of whether bats are in the roost at the time, Natural England should be consulted. A bat survey should be undertaken before any work is carried out.

Even if no evidence of bats are found in a survey, but bats are found while undertaking work, at any stage, and even if planning permission has been granted, work must stop immediately and the further advice sought from Natural England or the Natural Environment Team.

Bats and Trees Advice Note (PDF, 99kb) (opens in a new window)All tree survey work should include an assessment of the potential a tree has to support bats, as even unoccupied bat roosts are protected by law.
Bats and Bridges Advice Note (pdf, 32kb) (opens in a new window)All bridges should be surveyed to determine if bats are present, before any work takes place.
Bats and Buildings Advice Note (PDF, 67kb) (opens in a new window)

Where work is likely to affect bats and/or roosts in a house, Natural England need to be informed in order to advise on how you should proceed.

If bats are discovered when work has already started, work must stop immediately and Natural England or the Natural Environment Team contacted.

1. Bird Nesting Advice Note (pdf, 39kb) (opens in a new window)Vegetation or site clearance should be done outside of the nesting season (1st March - 31st July inclusive), although nesting may start before and extend beyond this period. This is to avoid impact to nesting birds and infringement of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
Reptile Advice Note (PDF, 54kb) (opens in a new window)There are six terrestrial reptile species native to Britain, three snakes (adder, grass snake, smooth snake) and three lizards (common lizard, sand lizard, slow worm), all of which are found in Dorset.

Where reptiles are or may be present, it is recommended that you contact the Natural Environment Team, and/or check with  Dorset Environmental Records Centre  before you carry out any work; a survey and a licence may be required

Badger Advice Note (PDF, 30kb) (opens in a new window)

If you are planning to carry out any work close to an occupied badger sett and may harm or disturb the badgers or their setts, Natural England should be consulted.

Plan ahead. Check with Dorset Environmental Records Centre  (DERC) for any known badger setts. Get a suitably qualified person to carry out a badger survey at the earliest opportunity, before any work is started.

Habitat Restoration Sites Advice Note (2) (pdf, 165kb) (opens in a new window)

There has been a significant loss of unimproved and semi-improved habitat in Dorset especially heathland, chalk grassland sites and hay meadows.

Dorset Habitat Restoration sites are therefore of great importance and have been mapped from data on habitat restoration, habitat re-creation and wetland creation gathered from various conservation organisations in Dorset.

Otter Advice Note (PDF, 54kb) (opens in a new window)

If you are doing any work that may harm otters or their breeding site/resting place, it is recommended that you contact the Natural Environment Team, and/or check with Dorset Environmental Records Centre , before you carry out any work. A survey and a European Protected Species (EPS) licence may be required.

Amphibian Advice Note (PDF, 51kb) (opens in a new window)

There are seven species of amphibians native to Britain, six of which are found in Dorset - common frog, common toad, natterjack toad, great crested newt, smooth newt and palmate newt.

Where great crested newts or natterjack toads are or may be present, it is recommended that you contact the Natural Environment Team, and/or check with Dorset Environmental Records Centre , before you carry out any work. A survey and a licence may be required.

For preventing disease amongst amphibians see the Amphibian and Reptile Groups UK ARG-UK Advice Note (PDF, 147kb) (opens in a new window)

Non-native invasive species (including policies) and identification sheets are available on:

The Natural Environment Team are now working with Dorset Highways, Dorset Environmental Records Centre, Dorset Wildlife Trust and the Environment Agency to ensure that all non-native invasive plant species are properly recorded and mapped, policies and protocols for control are put in place, advice is available and monitoring is carried out.

Veteran Tree Advice Note (pdf, 151kb) (opens in a new window)

Veteran trees are important biologically, culturally and historically due to their age, size and condition and are a valuable part of Dorset's landscape.

Water Vole Advice Note (pdf, 36kb) (opens in a new window)

If you are doing any work that may harm water voles or their breeding site/resting place, it is recommended that you contact the Natural Environment Team, and/or check with the Dorset Environmental Records Centre, before you carry out any work.

White-clawed crayfish advice note (pdf, 29kb) (opens in a new window)

If you are carrying out any work that may disturb or harm white-clawed crayfish and their habitat you must contact Natural England (NE), Dorset County Council (DCC) or the Environment Agency (EA) before the work commences. A survey and a licence may be required.

Web spinning moths advice (pdf, 4Mb) (opens in a new window)We are used to the idea of spiders spinning webs but there are a few other creatures, mainly insects, which can also do this.
Road Verges Guidance Sheet (pdf, 5Mb) (opens in a new window)Dorset's verges form an extensive grassland habitat of significant environmental, social and economic value and are therefore a valuable asset.
Soil in landscape and engineering projects guidance sheet (pdf, 538kb) (opens in a new window)

This guidance promotes and encourages the sustainable use and management of soils and vegetation and illustrates how this can achieve significant cost savings as well as landscape and biodiversity benefits.

Hedge Guidance (pdf, 661kb) (opens in a new window)The purpose of this guidance is to highlight the environmental, social and economic value of hedges and to promote best practice.
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