We provide a full range of ecological services to support our protected species surveys and mitigation compensations, from preliminary ecological assessments, through to, biodiversity offsetting, habitat management and ecological clerk of works.
Our licenced ecologists are extremely knowledgeable when it comes planning guidelines and ecological impacts, ensuring your development is completed within the law and reports are completed quickly.
Our expertise lies within all ecosystems and we are experts in bats, birds, newts, reptiles, and other protected species and habitats.
Our clients come from a range of sectors, including domestic and commercial developers. We work closely with our clients, Local planning authorities and other organisations to ensure your environmental planning consents are successful and the impacts of developments on species and their habitats in professionally managed.
What ecological Services do we offer?
- Preliminary Ecological Assessments
- Ecological Clerk of Works (ECoW)
- Ecological Impact Assessments (EcAI)
- Biodiversity Offsetting
- Newt and Reptile Fencing
Preliminary Ecological Assessments
Preliminary Ecological Appraisals, also known as Phase 1 surveys, are usually the basic starting point for most ecology consultancy services of new development sites. Often they are required as part of planning applications prior to permission been approved.
The first step to understanding the ecology of the site and assessing the implications of the proposed development. The assessment process provides coverage for a variety of flora and fauna and applies the methodologies set out by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee.
The report and findings from a preliminary ecological survey will set out a baseline for more detailed or specific protected species surveys.
Phase 1 Habitat surveys are more commonly called Preliminary Ecological Appraisals (PEAs). A PEA is usually the first step in mapping out a development site under consideration based on the habitats present. These surveys can be carried out all year round.
As ecological consultants we use it as an important scoping survey to inform on the need for further work required; such as protected species surveys or impact assessments.
Do I need a preliminary ecological appraisal?
The simple answer is. Yes!
A preliminary ecological survey is the first step in any ecology consultancy work. Without one, you most likely will not be granted planning permission. If your local planning officer has asked for a phase 1 habitat survey then you will need to carry one out.
What happens on a preliminary habitat survey?
The purpose of a preliminary ecological appraisal is to identify any potential risks to wildlife and habitats associated with developments. An ecology consultant will visit your development site and conduct an in-depth survey.
Findings from a Phase 1 habitat survey are used to form a scoping report for any project that might require further ecology surveys or habitat compensations.
In some instances, Preliminary Ecological Appraisals are used by conservation bodies or authorities to understand the biodiversity within the area.
Will I need further surveys?
Additional surveys for bats, great crested newts, reptiles, breeding birds, badgers, etc may be required. This all depends on several factors.
If the development site has potential for any protected species, such as gaps for bats to roost, then further ecological surveys will be needed. A desktop and biological records search are also carried out to identify any previous specie history and the habitats that occur within the area.
In some circumstances, no further surveys may be required. Meaning, the primary ecology survey report can be sent for submission with your planning application.
Ecological Clerk Of Works (ECoW)
Ecological Clerk of Works (ECoW) services typically includes the preparation of documents before construction works start and delivery of ecological requirements to meet key development phases. We work with site personnel, so as to avoid mishaps or breaking of any conservation or wildlife legislations, and so that the development complies with planning commitments and the ecological milestones outlined in the principal contractor documents.
The ECoW officer also works to identify and resolve any ecological issues, however minor, that could otherwise bring criticism of the construction and ensures that the workforce are aware of their responsibilities and that work continues in accordance with the project plan and legislations.
Ecological Impact Assessments (EcIA)
We have a specialist Impact Assessment (EcIA) officer with years of experience in providing ecological support to clients.
Our EcIA officer has a huge array of knowledge and understanding of both complex and small scale projects, meaning we are able to collate and review baseline survey data from existing survey reports and data provided by relevant authorities, Consultation with nature conservation stakeholders, Evaluate ecological resources on-site at a geographical scale, Identify potential impacts and effects in the absence of mitigation along with many other aspects for a full high-quality EcIA.
We offer full support for both the pre-planning and post-planning phases of your required development.
Biodiversity Offsetting is the principle of compensating for biodiversity losses resulting from development by implementing conservation activities that deliver measurable biodiversity benefits at another location or nearby site. The preference in the planning system is that ecological impacts resulting from development activity are avoided where possible, and mitigated for when they are unavoidable. Compensation is only turned to when unavoidable residual impacts remain.
We hold a great experience of offsetting, utilising data on the existing habitats present, the proposed development layout and landscaping, we can calculate losses and gains of biodiversity. We provide you with suggestions as to how the site layout and landscaping proposals can be amended to minimise impacts on biodiversity, and also offer offsetting schemes throughout the UK to compensate for your losses.
Newt & Reptile Fencing
Reptile and Newt fencing is installed for a variety of different reasons including to prevent reptiles and newts from entering the construction zone during the works and allowing mitigation works to take place in a Reptile and GCN zone alongside trapping and translocation, whereby pitfall traps (buckets) and artificial refugia (carpet tiles) are installed into the ground inside and touching the fence line.
With the above in mind, developers and principal contractors often require fencing to be installed very soon after receipt of the EPS licence with all terms and conditions to be strictly adhered to under the supervision of the Ecological Clerk of Works.