Ecological Surveys & Assessments
Phlorum provides the full range of ecological services to meet the needs of our diverse client base. This most usually is in the provision of impact assessments and mitigation for developments during their planning, construction and demolition stages – such as for the discharge of planning conditions or in the delivery of Section 106 agreements.
The usual progress of ecological assessment in relation to planning is to carry out an initial survey to establish habitats that might be valuable and/or have potential to support protected species. From this preliminary assessment, more detailed surveys and/or recommendations for suitable habitat improvement can be offered.
Identifying ecological constraints early on in the development planning process can help avoid costly delays and potential complications further down the line. Early recognition of ecological enhancement opportunities can also pay dividends if they align with wider biodiversity policies and objectives.
There is various legislation that affords protection to a range of plant and animal species in the UK. This includes the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 (as amended), The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 and the Protection of Badger Act 1992.
Bats, great crested newt, hazel dormouse, otter, water vole, reptiles and badger are examples of species with specific legislative protection. Measures must therefore be taken by any development or other type of project that might cause harm to protected species or habitats.
For most protected species, surveys must be conducted when individuals are active. This can mean that surveys are limited to certain times of the year (usually excluding winter).
An outline of the ecology surveys routinely carried out by Phlorum is provided below.
- Preliminary Ecological Appraisals (formerly known as Phase 1 Habitat Surveys);
- Scoping Assessments;
- National Vegetation Classification surveys;
- River Corridor Surveys;
- Tree surveys in accordance with British Standards;
- BREEAM and other types of assessments that score sustainability indices for different types of development; and
- Critical Load assessments in relation to air pollutant deposition on sensitive habitats.
Detailed and protected species surveys
- European protected species including great crested newt, bats, otters and dormice;
- Reptiles (including slow worms, common lizards, grass snakes and adders);
- Water vole;
- Birds, including breeding and wintering birds and barn owl;
- Terrestrial invertebrates;
- Aquatic invertebrates; and
- White-clawed crayfish.