Our team of qualified and licensed ecologists specialise in a wide range of habitat assessment, ecological study and protected species guidance throughout the UK.
We are adaptive to each project and experienced in using recognised survey techniques and methodologies to deal with all issues relating to ecology.
Our proactive approach allows for early advice to be sought and a tailored programme of work to address the site specific survey needs.
Contact us today for a free and fixed cost quotation – 0333 123 7080.
For our ecology services, we regularly advise private clients, developers, architects, project managers, planning consultants, engineers, councils and other industry professionals.
We remain committed to delivering high quality practical and innovative solutions in a cost effective defensible manner.
Phase 1 Habitat Surveys
Disturbing or interfering with protected species and / or their habitat can be a criminal offence.
The early identification of such ecological considerations enables detailed surveys to be scheduled at the appropriate time and avoids delays of your project.
Habitat surveys are a commonly used assessment process and provide site specific ecology details, vegetations classification and identify the potential for protected species and / or their habitat.
Extended surveys and reports include biological records data searches and protected species investigation which inform the preliminary requirements of the planning process.
Depending on the initial findings, more detailed protected species surveys may be required – the results will support your planning application and inform any necessary mitigation measures to enable the council to grant planning permission.
Detailed surveys and reports enable our clients, the design team and associated personnel to be fully informed about the presence or absence of statutorily protected species on or around a site.
The potential constraint imposed by the presence of protected species can often lead to delays, however, specialist advice at the early stage can save time and money.
Our protected species surveys include –
- Bats (all species) – daytime / scoping inspections, bat activity surveys (emergence, transect, swarming);
- Birds – daytime inspections, nesting bird checks, breeding bird surveys, migratory and winter bird surveys, vantage point surveys (VP), barn owl surveys, building & tree inspections;
- Great Crested Newts (GCN) – daytime / walkover inspections, pond assessments, Habitat Suitability Index (HSI), detailed surveys (torching, egg searches etc.), bottle trapping;
- Reptiles (all species) – daytime inspections, presence / absence surveys, population surveys;
- Badgers – daytime surveys, sett identification, nocturnal population surveys;
- Dormouse – habitat assessment, hazelnut searches, presence / absence surveys (nest-boxes);
- Otter and water voles; daytime inspections, habitat assessment, presence / absence surveys (evidence based); and
- Invertebrates – including white-clawed crayfish, stag beetles, daytime inspections, habitat assessment, presence / absence surveys (evidence based).
Invasive Plant Species
We regularly inspect and advise clients on the presence / absence of ‘invasive weeds’ such as Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica), Himalayan Balsam (Impations glandulifera) and Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum).
It is illegal to plant or allow the spread of plant species listed on Schedule 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981). A list of plant species within Schedule 9 and guidance is available at legislation.gov.uk and gov.uk.
Mitigation / Site Management
Whether it be local authority liaison, natural England license application, toolbox talks, site supervision, habitat creation or translocation, clear guidance by appropriately qualified, licensed and experienced ecologists ensures you get the right advice up front.
Mitigation measures can include a number of strategies and options to limit the impact and effects of development on habitat and protected species. Planning the mitigation measures early in the project can benefit the development timeframe and will assist in supporting planning approval etc.
The mitigation options can include avoidance by design, incorporating and supplementing existing habitat into the design, integration of artificial homes (boxes, piles etc.), translocation of species to suitable natural habitat or by habitat creation to enhance a site (meadows, ponds etc.).