Important Local Species

Although not all species in the North East of Scotland are specifically protected by legislation, it is still important to safeguard them.

What do I need to do?

First check for planning requirements by consulting the relevant Local Authority’s Planning Policies and Supplementary Guidance on the natural environment.

Undertake a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA) to provide a rapid assessment of habitats and species present or potentially present. Refer to The Chartered Institute for Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) PEA guidelines.

In most instances a data search from the North East Scotland Biological Records Centre will be considered the minimum desk study effort.

The PEA may identify the need for specific species or habitat surveys to determine potential impact and measures to avoid impact or provide appropriate mitigation.

Ecological surveys should always be carried out by a properly qualified consultant and to recognised standards. Involve an ecologist AT THE VERY START of the project to identify potential issues early on, reducing the likelihood of costly, abortive work and delays.

For works affecting bat habitats, for example, mature trees, roofs, outbuildings and farm buildings, in areas where bats have been seen or recorded (check records on NESBReC) it may be necessary to hire an ecologist to carry out a bat survey. Find out more on the Bat Conservation Trust website and see the CIEEM guide on What to expect from a bat survey.

Find out more about what’s expected of a developer on Scottish Natural Heritage’s website.

Legally protected species which occur in the NESBiP area*

Bats (all species), otter, cetaceans, wildcat
The Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations 1994 – usually referred to as “European Protected Species” or “EPS”

Red squirrel, pine marten, water voles, reptiles, freshwater pearl mussel, certain plants, certain bryophytes, certain lichens and certain fungi
Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended)

Badgers
Protection of Badgers Act 1992

Birds
Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended)

Some species are also Qualifying Features of designated Special Area of Protection sites.

Seals
Marine (Scotland) Act 2010

Freshwater pearl mussel, otter and Atlantic salmon
Species which are protected as Qualifying Features of the River Dee Special Area of Conservation

* this list is not exhaustive

Locally important species

Although not all species in the North East of Scotland are specifically protected by legislation, it is still important to safeguard them. Within the NESBiP area, some species are deemed ‘locally important’ and contribute to the biodiversity of the region. These are plants, fungi and mammals which we specifically look to safeguard through the planning and construction of development, alongside species protected by legislation.

Picture of an endangered Water Vole being held in a gloved hand.

Water Vole © Alistair Watson

Involve an ecologist at the very start of the project to identify potential issues early on, reducing the likelihood of costly, abortive work and delays.

Lina-Elvira Back

Environmental Planner at Aberdeen City Council

Further Information

Information on our habitats

Statements to guide you on our key habitats

Information on key locations

Get to know our important locations

Your Biodiversity, Your Wellbeing

Find out why biodiversity is important to you

Tools & Resources

A summary of the help available online for developers of all sizes