Ecology Surveys and Ecological Impact Assessments
These are the main ecology survey services that we offer, but we would be very happy to discuss your requirements outside these catagories.
If you need further explanation or have any questions, please Contact us.
Ecology surveys are required by planning authorities where a proposed development may impact wildlife. The surveys may include preliminary ecological appraisals, preliminary roost assessments and ecological impact assessments.
Preliminary Ecological Appraisal
A Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (“PEA”) comprises a desk study to search for records of any protected species or habitats within the area, and a walkover of the site to evaluate and map the habitats present and to assess any suitability for protected species such. Any potential ecological constraints will be identified and recommendations made for any further surveys that are required. The PEA provides the baseline ecological data for a site.
The survey considers local designated sites, identifies site habitats and assesses the potential for protected species and other species of conservation importance. Recommendations for further surveys are made if necessary.
We follow the Phase 1 methodology as documented by the Nature Conservancy Council but enhance this with an assessment of protected species, adding to the overall habitat assessment.
Ecological Impact Assessment
If required, a PEA can be supplemented with further survey information (e.g. protected species survey results) to form an Ecological Impact Assessment (“EcIA”). This would address in more detail the legislation and planning policy relevant to the ecological constraints affecting the proposed development. The EcIA would assess the overall impact of the development and provide recommendations for mitigation necessary to ensure obligations with respect to biodiversity are met. An EcIA also often undertaken as part of an Environmental Impact Assessment.
Phase 2 surveys
Phase 2 surveys are essentially vegetation surveys following prescribed and advanced methods of investigation and identification of plant communities. Understanding exactly which plant species occur, their frequency, cover and relative abundance in an area, tells us much about the environmental conditions, general ecology and history of the site. A Phase 2 Survey is an invaluable tool for assessing impacts, planning and monitoring mitigation, or enhancement for biodiversity.