As one of the leading ecological consultants in the UK, Indigo Surveys is proud of our long-standing tradition of providing ecology surveys to a consistently high standard, and for a wide variety of clients. 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.
When Should You Call Upon the Services of Ecology Consultants?
An ecological consultancy should be contacted at a time when there is a need to detail habitats and species within an area that is to be changed in some way. These changes quite often are in relation to construction projects and large-scale developments, with the primary goal of the ecology consultancy being to undertake an in-depth survey of the habitat and surrounding areas in order to identify any potential constraints that they may pose to the development moving forward.
There may, of course, be other reasons why ecology consultants are called upon, from helping to understanding the significance of a project on the biodiversity of an area, to helping identify opportunities in planning to help enhance the wildlife and species within a habitat rather than hinder it, as well as looking at nature conservation within certain areas.
The Timing of an Ecological Survey
Our team of ecological consultants in the UK understand the effect of seasonality on all species. We know when the best times to conduct a survey are for individual species and we can always make our clients aware of this to ensure that their timetable is not severely affected at a time when they require the results of an ecological survey before being able to move forward.
This is why it is vital to include plans for an ecological survey as early as possible in your plans, through the support of a reliable specialist in ecological consultancy. Certain issues could take months to resolve in order to obtain the relevant information and we can provide you with the timescales you need to plan accordingly.
What Ecology Survey Options Can We Offer Clients?
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. Our ecology consultants can assist you with the following:
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 constraints imposed by the presence of protected species can often lead to delays, however, specialist advice from our specialist ecology consultants at an 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);
- Otters and water voles; daytime inspections, habitat assessment, presence/absence surveys (evidence-based);
- 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 an appropriately qualified, licensed and experienced ecology consultancy ensures you receive the correct 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.).
Working with ecology consultants is often a requirement from a local authority as part of a planning condition and application. As an applicant looking for planning permission on an area that may be impacted in terms of its natural habitat, it is vital that you present all relevant ecological information with your planning application, or at least soon after. From the perspective of a develop an ecological survey ensures that they are adhering to UK wildlife law and any obligations that they have as the lead developer, anticipating any and all questions that the local planning authority may have once a planning application is in process.
Staying ahead of the game in terms of surveying the immediate area of a prospective development can cut time and costs. If you are searching for ecological consultancy in the UK that can provide you with an in-depth study of an area, whether you are a developer, or looking to assist with a conservation effort, Indigo Surveys is the right team to call. Our specialist ecology consultants are committed to ensuring that our service continues to improve at all times, offering a high level of quality and standards on a consistent basis.
We offer a reliable and practical set of solutions to a wide-ranging number of projects and industries, and we are always on the lookout for new and innovative ways to improve. This ensures that every single client that comes to us can rest easy that they will receive accurate and cost-effective solutions for their project plans. If you would like to find out more about our range of surveys, speak to our specialists in ecological & tree consultancy today. You can call us on 0333 123 7080 or email email@example.com.
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