What We Do
Preliminary Ecological Appraisals
The industry recognised survey and report for a baseline ecological survey which can support a planning application or, set out further surveys which will be required. This is a walk-over based survey which assesses habitats and potential for protected or notable species which will need to be evaluated for any planning application.
For: Small scale development projects including brownfield sites, changes of use impacting key wildlife habitats, first stage for medium and larger developments.
Ecological Impact Assessment
The Ecological Impact Assessment (EcoIA) is a more in depth study than the Preliminary Ecological Appraisal and may form a stand-alone report or, for larger projects, a chapter within an Environmental Statement or Environmental Impact Assessment. This is a complex process and requires key skills of multi-disciplinary ecological expertise, ability to value and anticipate impacts.
This process establishes a baseline assessment and may take evidence from a range of individual surveys. The EcoIA establishes the value of a site and its contribution to the wider ecological context. The EcoIA also establishes potential impacts and sets out measures to avoid or compensate for adverse impacts to a site’s ecological status as well as measures to deliver a net gain in the site’s ecological status, and provides a professional evaluation of the overall net impact of a project over its lifespan. EcoIAs should only be undertaken by experienced and qualified ecologists.
For: Medium and large scale development projects, changes on or near high value ecological sites.
Bat surveys are required for a range of projects and we tailor the survey to the site. Preliminary roost assessments priced competitively, activity or roost surveys and bat licence applications may form part of the survey package. All of our work is carried out to industry recognised best practice guidance link. Survey reports may draw upon some elements of the Ecological Impact Assessment process and can be used in support of planning applications. Our surveys are undertaken by appropriately qualified, experienced and licensed ecologists.
For: Householder planning applications, small to large scale development projects, changes to key habitats.
There are two levels of survey: Phase 1 and Phase 2. Both are carried out to accepted protocols and provide a benchmark for ecological appraisal and assessment. Phase 1 habitat surveys characterise habitat types whilst the more detailed Phase 2 survey provides robust scientific description.
For: Small, medium and large scale development projects, some changes of use to key habitats, brownfield developments.
Protected Species Surveys
Surveys included are: bat, reptile, breeding bird, barn owl, hazel dormouse, great crested newt, otter, water vole, white clawed crayfish, insect, badger and harvest mouse. All surveys are carried out by appropriately qualified and licensed ecologists with survey reports produced to accepted industry best practice standards which will be suitable for submission with planning applications, and where necessary, licence applications (both subject to ‘freshness of survey data).
For: Small to large scale development projects, householder planning applications, some projects involving changes to key habitats, European Protected Species License applications, badger license applications.
Strategic Ecological Landscape and Green Infrastructure Planning
We’re unlikely to be building new cities, so the renewal of our buildings, streets and open spaces provides the opportunity to build a better, more joined up network of wild places – for the good of not just wildlife, but also our communities and our social and economic well being.
Most development projects will have a strand of green infrastructure planning running through them, from landscape scale delivery of schemes through to individual site planning. This can encompass ecological habitats doubling up within a drainage scheme or recreational areas. We can provide ecological advice on master plans, landscape plans, sustainable drainage strategies and management plans which embodies a forward looking, contemporary approach to green infrastructure.
For: Any development, landscape management plans, sustainable urban drainage schemes
Ecological Clerk of Works
Ecological clerk of works form part of the construction team, advising on specific ecological measures, often delivering licence and planning conditions. This is a dedicated sub-contract role which requires a knowledge of construction sites and the ability to work and communicate within the project team.
For: Discharge of planning conditions, Construction and Environmental Management Plans, European Protected Species Licenses.
Biodiversity Net Gain
The Environment Act 2021 mandates all new development from 2023 to provide in excess of 10% net gain to biodiversity. We are experienced in the use biodiversity metrics and can advise on how best to meet this new challenge. Many local authorities are requesting biodiversity net gain for planning applications. The Act provides forward thinking landowners with opportunities to create new habitats on their land in strategic areas for biodiversity off-setting which will command higher rates of return the earlier they are created. If you are interested in exploring this opportunity, please get in contact with us.
For: Developers, householders, land managers.