Working with protected species

21.01.2022 2 min read

Ahead of squirrel appreciation day tomorrow (21. 01.21) we look at the red squirrel, one of the many protected species that Temple works with.

Red squirrels are one of our native species, living in the UK for around 10,000 years. Grey squirrels were introduced much more recently from North America establishing a wild population in the late 1800s. Unfortunately, they do not live harmoniously as the grey squirrel’s larger size means they outcompete the reds for food supplies. As such, the red squirrel is a Species of Principal Importance in England and is protected by law.

Protected species such as red squirrels are commonly encountered during development projects and their presence can pose significant implications for the timing, delivery, and overall success of the work. Not least in relation to the level of baseline information needed to ensure that they are fully taken into account as part of the planning process, including dedicated field survey, assessment, and working out opportunities for their protection/retention on and/or off-site.

Time for Temple

The type of sites that require protected species work varies from major infrastructure and residential schemes to smaller-scale developments. In each case, however, it is the responsibility of a suitably qualified and experienced ecologist to help our clients navigate the process, supporting project delivery. The presence of protected species will establish potential impacts to populations, as well as ensure any risks to biodiversity are ideally avoided but at least mitigated. Further, it is the role of the ecologist to advise on measures to propose appropriate options to achieve net gains in line with local and national planning policy and the newly published Environment Act 2021.

Avoiding biodiversity loss and conserving biodiversity is important to us! With over 70 passionate ecologists, located in one of our six regional offices, our teams have a wealth of experience and expertise, including development, handling, and conservation licenses from Natural England/Natural Resources Wales for protected species including bats, badger, great crested newt, rare reptiles, schedule 1 birds, water vole, otter and dormouse.

To find out more about our range of services head to our Ecology page here or contact us at for our help and advice.

Key Contacts

Dr Sarah Cox Divisional Director - Ecology