We offer a range of habitat surveys:
1. Preliminary Ecological Appraisals (plus Phase 1 surveys and walk-over surveys)
These surveys accompany a planning application to help assess the impact of the development on ecology. Our surveys follow guidance set out by the Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management
They consist of:
• A search for biological records on or near a site.
• A search for nature conservation designations that might protect the land or adjacent areas.
• Mapping of habitats on the site with a description of their condition and species observed. Target notes describe any significant features.
• Observations of any evidence of protected species using the site.
• Advice on more detailed survey that might be required to inform the planning process.
This information helps local authorities understand the impact of a development on ecology. Such a survey could lead to mitigation strategies to avoid harm to significant features.
For the developer these surveys can:
• Identify any issues that might delay or prevent planning permission being granted.
• If undertaken early they allow a development to be planned in such a way as to minimise harm to the environment.
• They may gather data that could be used to gain credits under the Code for sustainable homes (BREEAM)
2. Phase 2 habitat surveys
Phase 2 surveys are more detailed surveys of plant communities. They list the species present by plant community and have an assessment of the cover or frequency of each species. They may be required when a significant habitat is affected by a development.
3. Other habitat surveys
A variety of bespoke monitoring surveys can be carried out to measure change in plant distribution for instance. Recording of several hundred random quadrats has been used to monitor changes in the abundance of key bumblebee food-plants such as red clover and bird’s-foot trefoil on a nature reserve at Pett Level. The object of this is to determine if conservation management to favour bumblebees is working or not.