This is one of several sites being developed for housing by Lovells Partnerships for West Lothian Council. Our involvement began prior to development with ecological surveys which identified the presence of otters, badgers, bats and potentially great crested newts. Detailed surveys were undertaken over more than a year to ensure no infringements of legislation and to reassure local residents that all due care had been taken to protect any resident wildlife.
Both the badger sett and an otter holt are very close to the development works and licences had to be obtained to allow disturbance. The badger sett was excluded ie. gates fitted to allow any badgers to exit and then prevent them from re-entering the sett. This allows work within 30m to take place with no risk to any resident badgers during the works.
This is a temporary exclusion and the sett will be re-opened once construction has been completed. The otter holt has benefitted during construction as the nearby river path was fenced off preventing access by people and dogs. Densely planted thorny scrub has become established which further hinders potential disturbance to the holt and sett.
Otter prints on snow beside River Almond
Otter holt entrance adjacent to River Almond