Waterside Ecology

Independent Ecological Consultancy

Otter survey for Helix project

Client Royal Haskoning


As a European Protected Species (EPS) otters are afforded a high level of protection. The purpose of this and other conservation legislation is not to prevent development, but to ensure that unnecessary disturbance or damage to otter populations do not result. Working with Aquaterra Ecology, Waterside provided baseline surveys of otters and other mammals for the Helix Project in the Falkirk area. The Helix will transform unused land between Falkirk and Grangemouth into an environmental resource for local communities. It is a key project in Falkirk’s economic regeneration initiative. The brief was straightforward – to provide survey of otters in areas that might be affected by the develoment and to interpret the value to otters of waterways that might be affected by the work.


Many consultancy services offer otter survey; few can provide the level of expertise of Waterside Ecology in interpretation of survey data. Both Jon and Lorna conducted their Ph.D. research on otters in Scotland, Jon studying coastal otters on Mull and Lorna working on interactions between otters and amphibians in Aberdeenshire. Thus we are ideally placed to provide advice on the potential effect of various developments on otters, underpinned by a high level of understanding of otter ecology.