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The Importance of Ecology Surveyors

Ecology surveys are becoming more and more crucial in today’s world. Proposed developments – whether domestic or commercial – now almost always require some form of ecology survey to assess how a habitat/landscape might be affected by said development. Ecology surveyors typically carry out these surveys and processes, of which there are several different kinds.

Phase 1 Habitat Surveys

 

One of the most common types of survey that ecology surveyors carry out is a phase 1 habitat survey. This provides an initial – although still fairly thorough – overview of a site and its ecological importance. These surveys, which most often form part of the PEA (preliminary ecological appraisal), will include notes on any rare or unusual flora/fauna, special habitat features (a hedgerow being an example), and an accompanying visual habitat map.

 These surveys will inform whether subsequent surveying work is required, or whether nothing of note is identified and that the survey can be submitted within a planning application, and the planning process therefore continued.

EcIAs (Ecological Impact Assessments)

Ecological Impact Assessments are another common ecology survey. Similar in many ways to habitat surveys, EcIAs are underpinned by the following key principles:

Avoidance – revolves around options that avoid ecological harm; relocating to another site, for instance.

Mitigation – avoiding any negative impacts. If they can’t be avoided, then any impacts should be mitigated wherever possible. Processes aimed at reducing ecological impacts will be baked into the project’s design.

Compensation – If (despite the mitigative processes) there are still significant harmful/negative ecological impacts, then compensatory measures should be factored into a project to offset those impacts.

Enhancement – Find ways to enhance a site’s biodiversity (in an attempt to deliver an overall biodiversity net gain or BNG) beyond that as required per the avoidance, mitigation, and compensation principles.

Ecological consultants can help plan and action these assessments. They work with their results to design an ecologically acceptable solution and that will most likely help a project secure planning permissions.

 

Protected Species Surveys

 

Finally, ecology surveyors will carry out protected species surveys. These are similar to habitat studies but with a focus on a particular protected species. These typically include badger, reptiles, great crested newt, and bat surveys, to name just a few.

 

Contact Us for Ecology Surveys

 

If you think you need an ecological survey of any sort – whatever form that might take – then get in touch! Contact Lockhart Garratt today by emailing us at info@lgluk.com. Alternatively, you can fill out one of our online enquiry forms.

 

Ecology Surveyors

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Lockhart Garratt was established in 1998. Since then it has developed into one of England’s leading independent consultancies. We provide expert, high-quality professional advice with a focus on relationships. In our case, this relates to trees, ecology, woodland, forestry, landscaping and green infrastructure. Servicing our clients across the UK, we are based in 2 offices – Northamptonshire and Oxfordshire.

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Lockhart Garratt was established in 1998. Since then it has developed into one of England’s leading independent consultancies. We provide expert, high quality professional advice with a focus. In our case this relates to all matters relating to trees, ecology, woodland, forestry, landscaping and green infrastructure. Servicing our clients across the UK, we are based in 2 offices – Northamptonshire and Oxfordshire.
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