Many developments requiring planning or other consents will require a site survey to identify the key habitats present, their importance, and their likelihood to support protected or notable species.
Helix Ecology offer the following services:
Phase 1 habitat survey
Also known as a ‘scoping survey or ‘site walkover’, and the starting point for a preliminary ecological assessment (PEA) or an ecological impact assessment (EcIA), Phase 1 surveys provide an overview of the semi-natural vegetation and wildlife habitat on site. A Phase 1 survey will follow the methodology described in the industry-standard handbook (Handbook for Phase 1 habitat survey: a technique for environmental audit). The subsequent report will include a colour-coded map showing the distribution of habitats within a site, target notes identifying key features of note (including protected species and invasive species), and a plant list with common and scientific names.
Extended Phase 1 habitat survey
A Phase 1 habitat survey is ‘extended’ to include an assessment of the potential of the habitat to support protected species, and any initial evidence of these. Also known as a ‘scoping survey’ or ‘site walkover’. Key features relevant to protected species, and any signs indicative of presence, are target-noted.
A hedgerow survey will identify whether a countryside hedge can be classified as ‘important’ under the Hedgerow Regulations (1997), and/or assess the potential or actual use by protected species such as great crested newts, nesting birds, dormice, badgers and bats. A Hedgerow Regulations survey report can be stand-alone, or incorporated within a Phase 1 survey report.
Ground surveys are undertaken to provide an initial assessment of the presence of any features with potential to support bats or other protected species. Use of ladders, or full access using climbing techniques, can be employed to further examine potential roost features identified during the initial ground survey. Aerial tree surveys may eliminate the need for additional roost surveys (i.e. dusk emergence and dawn re-entry surveys) or reduce the number required, with subsequent savings on time and expense.
Timely surveys can help reduce costs and prevent delays. Download our ecological survey calendar for more information.
From our base on Exmoor we can deliver ecological consultancy services throughout the UK, our core area being southwest England (Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire).