Preliminary Ecological Appraisal
A preliminary ecological appraisal is a survey which is conducted to enable an understanding of what potential constraints may be present on site and to consider what impact any development may have on the environment and ecology of the site. This survey provides a base line understanding of what, if any further targeted species will be required. Furthermore, it provides an opportunity to consider the plans for the site and to, at the earliest opportunity, consider and implement improvements such as biodiversity net gains and enhancements
Great Crested Newt Survey
Great Crested Newts ( GCN's) are protected by law as is their habitat. Therefore, any proposed works which are likely, or have potential, to disturb or impact them or their habitat, will then require a survey. This is to provide information of how GCN's are using the site and what impact on their habitat and how to mitigate against this.
Dormice are a protected species as is their habitat. Dormouse are species which can be found in boundary hedgerow as well as other areas and therefore must be considered before any works are undertaken which could have an impact on their habitat. Surveying for dormice is conducted by a qualified ecologist. By conducting the survey the ecologist can establish how the site is utilised by dormice and what appropriate mitigation measures can be implemented to manage or eliminate impact on the wider dormouse species.
Water Vole and Otter Surveys
Water Vole and Otter are both protected species and therefore must be protected and adequately mitigated against before any works can commence. Survey's are undertaken which provides the ecologist with information to assess how water vole or otter are utilising the site, including feeding holts or areas and what the likely population is for the species. In doing so, appropriate measures can be implemented into proposed works to ensure that the species are not harmed and that their habitat is protected.
Preliminary Roost Assessment
A preliminary roost assessment (PRA) focuses on the potential for bats to be utilising the site. This can be buildings, trees, outbuildings or barns. This survey provides information on the likely absence or presence of bats on the site before works are commenced into order to ensure that no bats or their roosts are disturbed by any works. This is an important survey for any works which is likely to impact on buildings regardless of the current repair of them. In conducting a PRA the ecologist can establish how many targeted bat surveys, if identified as needed, will be required in order to support planning applications and the surveyors required to assess the use of the roost and the site by bats.
In the UK there are six native species of reptiles which are all protected by law. Which means that they are protected from any reckless or deliberate act which may cause them harm. Additionally, the smooth snake and sand lizard have further protection which extends to it being an offence to disturb them and their habitat being protected. Therefore, should any project or scheme have potential to impact on reptiles then targeted species surveys will be recommended in the first instance.
Bird Surveys are carried out to establish what birds are utilising the areas around the development works. This is important as birds are protected, with some species being in decline in the UK and some birds in the UK protected further. All nests are protected from being disturbed and therefore any bird that is nesting cannot be disturbed by any works, regardless of how invasive they maybe. Therefore, it may be necessary to have nesting bird checks and assessments or supervision of any works which could disturb a nest.
Barn Owl Survey
The barn owl is a schedule 1 protected bird species. Therefore, it is afforded a higher level of protection in England and Wales. Due to the higher level of protecting appropriate survey's should be conducted to confirm if a barn owl is utilising a site and to enable further information about the type of use the site has for the protected species. In doing so, the information can enable appropriate mitigation to be implemented and ensure that the barn owl remains protected.
We provide ecological support for a range of highways projects and schemes. This includes ECoW works where we are able to provide on site ecological and environmental support ensuring compliance in a timely fashion as the works are completed. In addition to this we are able to provide targeted species surveys to inform of any potential constraints and requirements for mitigation. We are able to undertake structural assessments and have confined spaces trained ecologist able to assess sites for any potential ecological or environmental impact.
Bats and their roosts are protected by law. Therefore, bat surveys are required if it is considered that bats are either confirmed as being present or if there is potential for bats to be utilising the site or area for development.
The survey will provide information as to the characteristic of the roost or how bats are utilising the site and areas surrounding. It will provide information on the type of bat species and will establish the size of roost.
Bat surveys are required by the Local Planning Authority to inform them of the type and status of the bat roost and will be able to establish what impact the development and the mitigation will have upon the roost.
Bat surveys can only be conducted at certain times of the year and in certain weather conditions. They are conducted usually at dusk and dawn and require surveyors to monitor the areas which hold potential for bats and to analyse the activity and use during the periods of when bats are active, which is for foraging at dusk and dawn.
In England and Wales badgers and badger setts are protected under legislation. This means it is unlawful to kill, injure, take or cruelly ill treat a badger or to damage, destroy or obstruct their setts or to disturb badgers in their setts. Therefore, it is necessary to conduct badger surveys to establish how badgers are utilising the site and local areas in order to implement appropriate mitigation measures for badger.
Fungi Surveys are conducted when proposed works have potential to impact on Schedule 8 protected fungi species, BAP species or assemblages of importance. When suitable habitats are present on a site, for example undisturbed grassland or veteran trees. Works have the potential to disturb the mycelium of the species preventing future growth, destroy the substrate or to have a great impact on disturbing the growth of such species.
enims primary aim is to provide environmental excellence. This means that our clients benefit from having expert support on all environmental element of their projects, from a team who provide quality solutions and enhancement's in their day to day work.
Pete Satchell - Managing Director