Established in 2014, RammSanderson provides expert Otter Survey and mitigation services, guided by best practices and guidelines and Natural England Advice.  

Otter Habitats and Protection 

One of our most beloved native mammals, the otter, is found across the majority of Britain and is protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981)

The Wildlife and Countryside Act prevents otters from being killed, kept, or sold, except under a licence. 

Adult Otters are around 1 metre in length and have Brown fur with paler undersides, long bodies, and tails. The most likely habitats to find an Otter are rivers, streams, wetlands, ponds, woodland, and scrub with limited levels of pollution. 

An Otter’s range can stretch from 2-3km for coastal Otters and 30-40km on rivers.  An Otter survey is therefore often required to identify and assess the impact of any proposed planning applications or works.  

Otter survey

Otter Survey Techniques and Methodology 

An Otter Survey can be conducted at any time of the year. 

As Otters are often shy and usually nocturnal, many of our otter survey methods and techniques focus on our expert surveyors identifying the following signs:

Spraints (Droppings)

Spraints are often located on prominent positions along the water course, such as logs or rocks and have a sweet odour (like jasmine tea) and are a good indicator during our Otter Survey of their recent presence.


An Otter’s footprint is round with 5 digits, usually 6-9cm in length and 5-7cm in width. an expert Otter Survey is recommended as webbing in toes may be visible and is often mistaken for mink which are much smaller.

Feeding remains

A cluster of discarded fish scales or shells may be visible.

Resting places

Holts/Dens are cavities along a watercourse, usually naturally formed e.g. under tree roots. Holts can be found up to 100m from the watercourse bank. Couches are above-ground resting areas and are identified by an area of flattened vegetation. These are difficult to identify in highly disturbed areas and thus, our experts will be able to identify resting places during our Otter Survey.

Otter Survey Licencing and Mitigation 

Before any works are undertaken on your site, if an Otter's presence has been indicated/detected, it is imperative to carry out an Otter Survey.  

If Otters are detected on your site, we offer comprehensive Otter Survey, monitoring, and mitigation services, including Natural England licensing for potential disturbance risks.

During our Otter Survey, where it is identified that Otters may be affected by proposed works, our experts will provide advice on suitable mitigation measures to allow works to proceed safely, including the application of any necessary licences.  

Otter survey

Why Choose RammSanderson for Otter Survey and Mitigation Services? 

With over 20 years of experience, our licenced ecological experts will work closely with you to ensure you receive a comprehensive Otter Survey and mitigate any risk factors and applications for development licences where appropriate.

Our services are guided by best practices and guidelines and Natural England Advice.  Our expert ecologists also meet the competencies as set out by the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management CIEEM.  


RammSanderson has a team of experienced consultants ready to carry out Otter Survey and Mitigation Services. Get in touch today!