Ecological Appraisal / Phase 1 Habitat Survey

You would be forgiven for being confused by the myriad of terminology used within the Ecology and Arboricultural fields.

In fairness it seems that each profession likes to use its own ‘priviliged language’ our own kind of shibolith, perhaps. 

Hopefully, this page will clear any confusion and help you to understand the processes involved in conducting an Ecological Appraisal of a site and how this feeds into and helps inform the development process.

Local Authorities are charged with protecting and enhancing the biodiversity of their area. In order to do this, they must first have an understanding of what biodiversity is currently present on a site and then ensure ‘Protected and Priority Species‘ are first protected from harm through a system of avoidance and / or mitigation and then consider ways to ‘enhance‘ the site for biodiversity.

The first phase then, is to request an ecology survey of the site is undertaken – A Phase 1 Survey. There are varying degrees of depth which can be requested from a simple ‘walkover survey’ of very straight forward sites: sports pitches, improved grassland or small gardens. Larger sites will require more depth and at the extreme end, very large projects are likely to require an Ecological Impact Assessment, which might form just one part of an even larger survey: Environment Impact Assessment (EIA).

The starting point for most projects is an Extended Phase 1 Survey. This can be seen as the ecological equivalent of an MOT. It looks for species and habitats which may potentially be present and seeks to ensure that the appropriate effort and consideration is provided to ensure that species and habitats are given the necessary protection. Where appropriate Phase 2 (species specific) Surveys will be recommended.

Whilst ecological considerations might appear to put constraints on development, we do not believe they have to be diametrically opposed. We strive to help create a situation where development and wildlife conservation do not conflict. We aim to achieve this in a number of ways: Your survey report from Ecological Surveys Ltd will make you fully aware of relevant wildlife legislation and planning policy that might impact upon your planning application

Where applicable, mitigation or compensation strategies are recommended within the report that will ensure no loss of habitat value. This helps reassure planning officers that your proposals will not impact upon the biodiversity value of the site.

We also consider and where practical, suggest ways to actually add biodiversity value and enhance the existing habitat for wildlife.

There maybe occasions when the Ecological Survey highlights concerns which cannot be mitigated for on site and which call for compensation measures.

A survey may bring to attention over riding ecological concerns or issues for which neither mitigation or compensation can fully address and consequently save you significant sums of money on progressing a project that is unlikely to succeed

As Ecological Consultants, our remit is to provide you: the client with the correct advice to help ensure that you achieve the outcome you desire: development, whilst at the same time ensuring that you comply with the law / regulations and guidelines necessary to protect the biodiversity of your site.

So whether, you have been told you need an: Ecological Appraisal / a Habitat Survey / Extended Phase 1 or other such ‘survey’ talk to us.                                        

                              We can advise on the appropriate level of surveys and provide a fixed cost quotation

Please contact us for a site specific quotation –

Please call us on 0800 888 6846 / 07736 458609