Surveys for common reptiles would be advisable if a development is likely to affect any of the following habitats: heathland, scrub, rough grassland, low-lying (less than 500m) moorland, sea cliffs and sand dunes. Additionally, brownfield sites frequently support common reptile populations, especially common lizards and, in Britain, slow worms, given that these areas are largely undisturbed and provide a mosaic of unmanaged and structurally diverse habitats.
Two reptile survey methods are often used together to determine the presence or possible absence of reptiles. These are a visual search for basking reptiles and the checking of artificial refugia laid down specifically to attract reptiles. For presence/absence surveys, 5 to 7 survey visits using the two methods above are made within the recommended reptile survey period of April to June inclusive and September. During these months reptiles spend most time basking and thus are more likely to be encountered.
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