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Ecological appraisal – assessing ecological value

Ecological appraisal services

Initial habitat surveys are essential to assess any ecological constraints and opportunities associated with development sites and to identify the need for any further detailed ecological survey work, including protected species surveys.  Our company has amassed considerable experience in undertaking these initial ecological appraisals and are skilled in making judgements on likely ecological value from walkover surveys.  We use the following techniques in these initial site appraisals:

  • Desk Study.  We collate any available ecological data for the site and the surrounding area, including statutorily and non-statutorily designated sites and any protected or notable species recorded on or in the vicinity of the site.  Data is collated from the local biological or environmental records centres, from local groups such as Badger Groups and Bat Groups and from Internet based data sources such as MAGIC. Additional information is accumulated from personal records made by our staff.
  • Extended Phase I Habitat Survey.  This survey technique presents a standardised system for classifying and mapping wildlife habitats in the UK.  It allows for rapid mapping of basic vegetation types and target notes are used to highlight particularly important features. More information on each vegetation type is gained by compiling plant species lists together with their relative abundance.  The potential for habitats on the site to support protected and notable species is also recorded.