Otter Surveys

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Otters and your development

If your project is likely to affect a water body, stream, river, lake, sea, or marsh and your extended phase 1 habitats survey / preliminary ecological appraisal identifies the habitat as having potential to support otters, of if local distribution and records suggest otters may be present then surveys may be required to determine presence / absence and identify how the site is used.

Projects typically requiring otter surveys include development near to a water body or water course, bridge installation or replacement, flood defences, installation, repair or replacement of culverts, water extraction or discharge, fisheries creation and management, reservoir creation and management, and canal restoration.


Otter surveys can be conducted throughout the year but are best undertaken in the early spring and autumn when bankside vegetation is low. A standard survey aims to identify and map signs of otters including spraints, footprints, feeding remains, slides, couches, and holts, following this camera traps may be deployed to capture further information on the use and importance of certain habitat features.

If otters are found to be present in the area and using habitats within the site we will work with you to develop a suitable avoidance, mitigation, and compensation strategy to minimise the impacts and facilitate an otter friendly development.

Contact us today to discuss your otter survey needs

We can help with all of your otter survey requirements get in touch for your free quotation

  • Habitat scoping surveys.
  • Presence / likely absence surveys.
  • Desk studies and biological record searches.
  • Camera trapping.
  • Avoidance, mitigation & compensation strategies.
  • Reasonable Avoidance Measures Method Statements (RAMMS).
  • Otter Mitigation Licence applications.
  • Habitat creation and improvement.
  • Artificial holt creation.
  • Otter fencing.
  • Habitat management.
  • Ecological Clerk of Works (ECoW).
  • Monitoring of mitigation.