What is an Ecological Survey?
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There is a wide scope of different assessments which constitute an Ecology Survey, these span from basic Ecological Scoping Surveys to more specific and detailed NVC (National Vegetation Classification), Hedgerow, Botanical, River Corridor, Protected Species, Invasive Plant Species and Ecological Assessments.
The most commonly accepted initial and baseline Ecological Assessment however, is a Phase 1 Habitat Survey which includes the study, identification and mapping of important wildlife habitats. This allows for an assessment of a site’s ecological importance and significant habitat features (property, plot of land, established boundary area) and informs the necessity for additional survey work.
How does a Phase 1 Habitat Survey work?
During the undertaking of a Phase 1 Habitat Survey* a record is made of important ecological habitat features; these are an indication of important site observations, are noted as ‘target notes’ and can include features such as rare plants/animals, foraging areas, roosting sites or special habitat features such as ancient hedgerows (illustrated on a Phase 1 Habitat Survey Map).
The systematic process for a Phase 1 Habitat Survey is carried first by completing the Site Survey (ecological assessment of the site’s habitats), this is followed by the completion of the Phase 1 Habitat Map (detailing major habitat types and valuable ecological site components) and concluded with the completion of the Ecological Assessment Report (produced to JNCC standard phase 1 habitat survey classification).
*A Phase 1 Habitat Survey is often referred to as a Habitat Survey, Eco Phase 1, Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA) or Wildlife Survey and is the industry standard for UK ecologists when classifying and mapping British habitats in accordance with the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC)
What are the benefits of a Phase 1 Habitat Survey?
An initial ecological survey will confirm the presence or absence of habitats and species and is vital before planning permission for a development can be sought. Through a habitat survey, any ecological constraints on a site will be identified at the earliest opportunity, and can be taken into consideration with development plans to minimise the impact on biodiversity.
By identifying species on a site will help minimise disturbance to their habitat and ensure that appropriate mitigation, and potentially new habitats, can be created, thus smoothing the way for planning consent to be given. Having a survey completed is an essential part of the planning process and must be completed prior to putting in a planning application.
By knowing the environmental impact any development may have, and all the relevant ecological matters regarding a site, will help determine whether any further surveys are required. The identification of specific habitats, including those that may contain protected species such as bats, foxes, badgers, amphibians, or even protected plants, are key to ensuring that the right action is taken at the right time and projects are not unnecessarily delayed.
Following the initial ecological survey, if no issues are identified, then no further surveys are usually required, and the ecological survey report can be submitted as part of the planning application. If something is identified, such as protected species, then further surveys will need to be arranged and an approach agreed to mitigate for impact to any habitats or species.
With any development required to create at least a 10% biodiversity net gain (BNG), this has made ecology surveys more important than ever before in order to ensure that binding environmental targets are met.
Overall, obtaining the correct information early on at the design stage of a project can save considerable time and reduce cost. While a Phase 1 Habitat Survey can be carried out throughout the year, there are restrictions on the optimum survey periods for some protected species, so factoring this in early can help you avoid costly delays and keep your development project on track.
How do I find the right Ecology Consultants to carry out my Habitat Survey?
Here at Indigo Surveys, we are vastly experienced in the type of ecological consultancy required to be able to provide you with an effective Habitat Survey in your setting. You are welcome to make any queries today over at email@example.com.
Being a national ecological consultancy company for almost a decade has enabled us to gather a lot of familiarity in the scope of Phase 1 Habitat Survey options. If you’re a family, business or individual looking to invest in a property, our professionals will be able to help by offering an appropriate ecology survey. Our ecology consultants have helped homeowners, developers, architects, engineers, solicitors, estate managers, retailers and others including local authorities. It is highly valuable to enlist the services of our ecology surveyors, a team who can protect you from all the financial risks of not conducting a proper ecology survey. If you need professionals who can offer specialist ecology consultancy, Indigo Surveys offers highly skilled and experienced ecological surveyors.
A reliable ecology consultant will have the flexibility to work on any site, regardless of its varying characteristics. Indigo Surveys’ specialists fully understand the unique requirements of each and every site. So, you can always be certain that our flexible team of ecology surveyors can offer a service that will suit your exact needs. Our ecological consultants UK team is available in major cities and towns across the country. We operate from Chester, with services in London, Birmingham and many other locations.
This leaves us ideally positioned to offer ecology survey options with swiftness and efficiency throughout the UK. Contact us for trusted advice on how best to eliminate risks related to ecology surveys. Once you enlist us, we’ll have a specialist visit your site, with the ecology consultant able to offer a personalised review of your site, covering each and every key aspect of its features. With the skill and experience we have, you can be certain that the professional will be able to advise you on the exact ecological requirements of your site.
We will make sure you learn of any current or future issues or risks that you need to be aware of. Our ecology consultancy team will then offer guidance on how to deal with these issues. It doesn’t matter where your property is across the country, our ecological consultants UK specialists will offer flexible and personalised advice, highly reliable for any person interested in the needs of their site and/or property. We have a team of specialists who work together to offer reliable advice to suit your site needs.
Our ecological consultancy UK team always adheres to all the British safety and quality standards. So, you can relax with Indigo Surveys, as you’re free from unnecessary related risks. We have an approach that definitely allows our clients peace of mind, because our specialists comply with all national and local council regulations. The collaborative approach we are talking about involves advice from individually qualified and knowledgeable ecology consultants. These professionals provide the right advice for every step, at an opportune time.
You will receive professional insight at every stage of the process thanks to our system, one that has ecological surveyors working in tandem. All your questions will be answered in detail and you’ll receive advice on what actions your site requires. For an important task such as an ecological survey, you will want professionals who are committed to what they do each and every time they take on a project.
The ecological consultants at Indigo Surveys have a great dedication to our clients. We are ecological specialists who always deliver high-quality, pragmatic, reliable and creative solutions for any project you might have on your site. You are welcome to contact our team, we are friendly, helpful and understand the diverse survey needs of various sites and clients. Please don’t hesitate to contact our ecology consultancy team for specialist advice at affordable prices. Access our Contact page for a phone, email and web chat options. We will be delighted to speak to you and assist on everything related to Phase 1 Habitat Surveys.
“We have retained Indigo Surveys to undertake measured surveys and tree services for various projects over the last 5 years and have always found the price, quality and customer service to be excellent. Andrew Turnbull is exceptionally helpful, easy to contact and always responds to queries in a timely manner.”
“I have worked with Indigo on many school projects. Many ran at the same time and had very short pre-construction programmes. Indigo were proactive and able to meet the challenging programmes, which enabled us to meet all submission dates for approval. We were kept aware of all ecology/arboricultural issues from the outset.”
“Indigo’s role in the Project Team was crucial in obtaining Planning Permission on a complex and challenging site. Their expert arboricultural knowledge resulted in successful negotiations with the Planning Authority and helped make the project feasible while also ensuring that it preserved the character of the site.”
“We used Andy at Indigo Surveys for a difficult planning scheme in Wimbledon Village and found his knowledge and strategy in dealing with the various issues thrown up very impressive and the added footprint that this gave the client on the scheme was invaluable. We continue to use Indigo Surveys Ltd for Arboricultural Consultancy services, and would be very happy to recommend them.”