Find the Ecology Services you need here..

Six Answers to your ecological questions: 

1. Why do we need Ecological Advice? Ecology surveys and mitigation are required for development projects that could affect protected species to obtain planning permission. Surveys need to show whether a site and its surrounding habitats are likely to support protected species and in what capacity. Mitigation is designed to avoid, reduce or manage any negative impacts to protected species.

2. Where do I get an assessment for? protected species surveys for bats, great crested newts, breeding and wintering birds, reptiles, dormice, water voles, otters and badgers.  contact us for a free quote.  We produce all related surveys including Plant, Trees and offer advice on National and European Protected Species, Habitats, Wildlife Sites..

3. Do I need a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA)? –   Most planning applications will require a PEA to assess the impacts on protected species and habitats on a specific site, to assist the Local Planning Authority with their decision-making. We regularly complete these. However, sometimes you won’t need such a detailed PEA survey for a site to assess it’s feasibility. In such cases a Site Appraisal may help. A PEA comprises of:

  • A desktop study – this identifies nearby sites designated for their ecological significance, important habitats (such as ancient woodlands and ponds), and reviews data obtained from the Local Environmental Record Centre.
  • Extended Phase 1 Habitat survey – a site visit identifies habitats on-site, that are suitable for supporting protected species and wildlife.
  • Assessment of impacts – that the proposed development is likely to have on site habitats, protected species and local biodiversity.
  • Recommendations – includes the mitigation and steps required to reduce negative impacts, any enhancements that could improve the site for wildlife, and identifies any need for further detailed surveys (e.g. protected species surveys).

4. Where do I get a Protected Species Survey?  – We hold survey licences for bats, great crested newts, dormice, water voles and Schedule 1 birds (including barn owls), and a bird ringing licence through the British Trust for Ornithology.   Protected species surveys are seasonal with most commonly required surveys taking place between March and October. So consulting an ecologist early in the planning process ensures project management stays on track.

Did you know that all protected species have a basic level of protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) and further protection for numerous species exists through other legislation?    As a landowner – it’s your legal obligation to ensure no offences listed in such legislation are committed? So you’ll need surveys to determine presence or likely absence of such protected species, to investigate how species use of the site,  and assess the impact of development and subsequently inform mitigation design to reduce those impacts on the relevant species.

5.  Which is the best site for our development?  Site Appraisals –  As a developer you’ll want to choose the best site for your project? If you’re looking for guidance on the best way to progress through to planning permission, and clarity on the best sites available to you – then a desktop-based site appraisal provides a great overall tool to aid your decision making.

This is because it will determine the likely ecological impact of a development, a give an idea of the timescales and cost for the ecology surveys required.  This doesn’t replace a PEA which is usually required to support a planning application.  However, this information gathering process may reduce the costs if you subsequently commission a PEA.  Our desktop-based site appraisal will:

  • Provide a preliminary assessment of site habitats based on available aerial imagery, including number of ponds near to the site and local green infrastructure
  • List protected species associated with those habitats, and which species may require detailed survey and include a survey timetable.
  • List nearby Nationally and Internationally designated sites and indicate the expected ecological value of the site using a traffic-light system.

6.  Who does these assessments? Parker Planning Services can help: click on these links to find out more:  contact us for a free quote today

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