Over 250 bird species breed in the UK and as a result they can be found nesting in a variety of habitats. The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) is the principal legislation which protects all UK wild birds, their nests and eggs.

Under this legislation it is an offence, with certain exceptions, to recklessly or intentionally: kill, injure or take any wild bird; take, damage or destroy the nest of any wild bird while in use or being built; and take or destroy the egg of any wild bird. Species listed on Schedule 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) are afforded additional protection, which makes it an offence to intentionally or recklessly disturb a Schedule 1 bird while it is building a nest or is in, on or near a nest containing eggs or young or disturb dependent young of such a bird.

FPCR employ a team of ten specialist ornithologists operating throughout the UK. We can undertake a wide range of survey techniques within a broad range of habitats including farmland, woodland, uplands, post-industrial, heathland, moorland, coastal and inland wetland sites.

Our services include:

  • Desk and field based scoping / constraints surveys throughout the year.
  • A wide range of bird survey techniques including:
    • Breeding Bird Surveys
    • Transects, point counts and territory mapping based on Common Bird Census (CBC) techniques. Typically undertaken monthly between April and June to assess the nature conservation value of a site for its general breeding bird assemblage
    • Species specific surveys including the Schedule 1 species: Black Redstart, Woodlark, Stone Curlew, Red Kite, Hobby, Barn Owl and Kingfisher. Nocturnal surveys for Woodcock, Nightjar and Long-eared Owl
    • Barn Owl nest inspections undertaken by licensed surveyors
    • Nesting bird surveys prior to vegetation clearance and building demolition. Advice on legal compliance and protection of all nesting Schedule 1 species
    • Passage Bird Surveys
    • Identify important areas for migratory birds both during spring passage (March to May) and autumn passage (August to November)
    • Counts of passage waders and wildfowl on inland waters
    • Wintering Bird Surveys
    • Transect surveys undertaken monthly between November and February to assess the nature conservation value of a site for its general wintering bird assemblage
    • Counts of wintering waders and wildfowl on inland waters
    • Bird Surveys which can be undertaken through more than one season
    • Intertidal counts of wintering wildfowl on coastal and estuarine sites, identifying feeding and roosting area
    • Vantage Point (VP) surveys to record flight lines of ‘target species’. Subsequent production of collision risk models to estimate impact of wind farm developments
  • Data analysis and evaluation.
  • Assessment of likely development effects.
  • The design of detailed mitigation and compensation strategies.
  • The assessment of legislative conformity.
  • Liaison with planning authorities and consultees on potential impacts and proposed mitigation strategies.
  • Implementation of all aspects of proposed mitigation using specialist Ecological Clerks of Works.
  • Scoping studies with Natural England in relation to the potential effects on Natura 2000 sites (Special Protection Areas or Ramsar sites) including bird survey requirements and provision of impact assessments and mitigation measures to enable the relevant authority to assess the impacts of the scheme.