Well, it’s not uncommon especially if you are demolishing or converting a building, cutting down a tree, hedge cutting, or disrupting a habitat that may contain barn owls or feeding grounds.
All barn owls are protected by law, under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. No matter what the species! The regulation means that it is an offense to intentionally or recklessly damage, destroy or obstruct a barn owl nest, resting place, or feeding habitat.
If a habitat shows potential for barn owls on a development site, our fully licensed ornithologists will be able to advise on the best barn owl survey solutions.
At this point, we’d like to give you some good news. Barn owls almost never stop your development.
But what is the barn owl survey and mitigation process? Firstly, the need for barn owl surveys will generally be identified at the time of a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal also know as a Habitat Walkover or Phase 1 Survey.
If the potential for barn owl is shown, then the presence of barn owl surveys may need to be completed. These barn owl surveys need to show whether nesting birds are present in the area, what populations are like, and how they use the site and surrounding areas.
If protected species are detected, then a mitigation plan is designed to show how you’ll avoid, reduce, or manage any negative effects on them. Working with your ecologist you need to decide which methods are right for the project you’re working on.
A mitigation licence may be required. However, usually, we are able to work to a Reasonable Avoidance Measure (RAM) to keep the process cost-effective and quick.