Protected biodiversity species

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1. Protection for bats and other animals

A number of species are very strongly protected by both British and European law. In Teignbridge these European Protected Species (EPS) include: dormouse, otter, great crested newt, sand lizards and all species of bats.

Under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 it is illegal to deliberately capture, injure, kill, or disturb any EPS without an appropriate licence. It is illegal to damage or destroy a breeding site or resting place of an EPS. It is also illegal to possess or offer an EPS for sale. In addition, the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 makes it illegal to obstruct access to any structure or place which any of these EPS uses for shelter or protection.

The protected places include bat roosts, otter holts and hovers and newt ponds. They can also be taken to mean the wider habitat around the nest/etc, eg. for dormouse hedges/woods may be protected. 'Damage' includes treatment of bat roosts with bat toxic wood preservatives and blocking of roost entrances even when the bats aren't there; draining, infilling or polluting a pond even when newts are not in it; or felling of woods/hedges that contain dormice.

If you wish to do works which are potentially damaging, you MUST seek expert advice first, whether you will be applying for planning permission to do the works or not. It may still be possible to do the works, if you provide sufficient mitigation measures. This must be overseen by a licensed expert and a special licence may be needed for your works.

For example if you have bats roosting in your roof, you must get advice before starting any maintenance works. Simple measures to protect your bats may include using bat-friendly chemicals, doing work at times of the year when the bats are not in residence and installing special access points so the bats can continue to use the roost site.

For advice on bats contact the Bat Conservation Trust

For advice on greater crested newts or sand lizards contact Amphibian and Reptile Conservation

For dormice and otters contact People's Trust for Endangered Species

Other animals are protected under other legislation as follows:

It is illegal to kill, injure, sell or offer for sale various animals listed in the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

The Protection of Badgers Act 1992 makes it illegal to kill or harm a badger or a badger sett or to undertake works near a badger sett without a special licence. For instance it is illegal to use hand tools within 5m of a sett, or machine tools within 10m.

The Deer Act 1991 controls poaching, taking or killing of deer.