PROJECT M4 Junctions 3-12 Smart Motorway Upgrade CLIENT Balfour Beatty Vinci JV SERVICE Protected Species Surveys, ECoW PROJECT PERIOD 2017 - Ongoing


Highways England is turning 32 miles of the M4 between London and Reading, into a ‘smart motorway’ by converting the hard shoulder to a fourth lane, and adjusting speed limits to smooth traffic flow.


Temple (Formally The Ecology Consultancy) were commissioned to carry out surveys for several protected species, including great crested newt, reptiles, bats, otter, water vole, badger and nesting birds, and advise on protected species mitigation during the project.

Our work began in 2018 and to date has included nesting bird checks; reptile surveys and mitigation; great crested newt mitigation; badger surveys, monitoring and sett closures; bat surveys; invasive species surveys; otter, water vole and kingfisher surveys and pre-works checks.

Innovative thermal imaging techniques were used for the bat surveys along the route to improve the effectiveness of bat emergence and re-entry surveys on bridges along the route. We continue to provide ecology surveys and advice on the M4 project.

Our Services have included:

  • Surveys for otter, water vole, kingfisher and invasive species
  • Bat hibernation surveys and the innovative use of thermal imaging cameras (FLIR T1020) to undertake bat emergence and re-entry surveys on Highway bridges
  • Preconstruction checks for otter, water vole and breeding birds
  • Surveys and mitigation for reptiles, great crested newt and badger, as well as badger sett monitoring and closures
  • Tool Box Talks to increase awareness of Protected Species and Invasive Species within the construction team
  • Ecological Clerk of Works
  • Consistently providing a rapid response to engineers’ enquiries by carrying out site surveys within 24 hours.
  • Assistance at a Family Day informative event

Our Value

Our work on the project continues and we have ensured that ecological issues have not caused a delay to the project programme. We are approaching the end of mitigation work for amphibians and reptiles on time and before the winter hibernation period, meeting relevant regulatory requirements.


Upgrading 32 miles of the M4 between London and Reading,