Licences may be issued from Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) which allow otherwise illegal activities to be carried out. The licencing process depends on the level of protection afforded to the species. Generally, these can be separated into three groups: European Protected Species (including bats, otter and great crested newts), species protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act (including pine marten, red squirrel and water vole), and badgers. Licences are granted either for disturbance to the species or destruction of a resting or breeding place. Disturbance can occur even if there is no direct interference or damage to the resting or breeding place. Appropriate mitigation and/or compensation must be designed so as to ensure that any impact is minimised, as far as is reasonably possible, and guarantee there is no risk of injury or death.
With all licence applications we provide supporting information to SNH in the form of a Species Protection Plan. The Species Protection Plan builds on the survey results and assesses what impacts the proposed works will have on the species concerned. This includes detailing the type, magnitude and duration of the impact as well as any temporal changes. Appropriate mitigation and compensation measures will then be identified and the residual impact after these measure have been applied will be assessed. The assessment must conclude that a favourable conservation status for the species will be maintained. A Method Statement is incorporated into all our Species Protection Plans which provides a clear, concise and unambiguous description of the mitigation and compensation measures proposed and how they will be carried out and when. All our Species Protection Plans include clear and detailed maps and photographs to ensure that SNH have sufficient supporting information that explains the works and how they will impact upon the species in question.