Ecology surveys

Ecological surveys and assessments to support planning applications and buying decisions

Through our ecology surveys, we identify any ecological constraints to developing a site and help our clients get planning permission.  We have a thorough knowledge of the legislation around nature conservation and development, and good working relationships with the national nature conservation agencies. This means we can have productive discussions that lead to development decisions that work for the developer, the planning authorities and the natural environment.

Who needs a preliminary ecological appraisal (PEA)?

If you are developing a site or changing land use, you will need a preliminary ecological appraisal (PEA). The PEA, formerly known as an Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey, is the most common type of habitat survey for planning applications. It is also useful if you are considering buying a site, as it identifies any potential constraints to the development of that site.

The preliminary ecological appraisal is a first-stage ecological assessment that:

  • classifies all the different habitats found on the site

  • assesses the implications the proposed development could have on those habitats

  • proposes practical measures that will preserve important habitats and encourage biodiversity

  • identifies any nature conservation or planning policy issues, and if you need further surveys and ecological impact assessments done.

When should I do a preliminary ecological appraisal?

You should conduct a PEA as early in the planning process as possible to identify any ecological constraints to the site. Although the PEA can be done at any time of year, if it identifies habitats for protected species on your site, then you will need to conduct additional habitat surveys for these species.  This can delay planning, since surveys for some protected species can only be done at certain times of year.  See our protected species survey calendar for details [PDF].

The preliminary ecological appraisal report will indicate which species and habitats are at the site, as well as species which may visit or be active at the site at other times of the year.

Do I need protected species surveys?

If the preliminary ecological assessment indicates that protected species could be active on your site, then you will need to submit protected species surveys as part of your planning application. We can conduct surveys for:

  • Amphibians – great crested newt and natterjack toads

  • Badgers

  • Bats

  • Birds

  • Dormice

  • Otters

  • Reptiles – common lizards, slow worms, adders, grass snakes, sand lizards and smooth snakes

  • Water voles

  • White-clawed crayfish

Additional ecological surveys and services

We can also coordinate:

  • Ecological scoping assessments

  • Ecological impact assessments (EcIA)

  • National Vegetation Classification surveys

  • River corridor surveys

  • Tree surveys in accordance with British Standards

  • Arboricultural impact assessments (AIA)

  • Tree constraints plans

We also design sustainable drainage systems which incorporate elements such as ponds and streams. Creating these habitats within your development can contribute to you meeting planning application requirements for both biodiversity and flood risk management.

How much will an ecology survey cost?

A preliminary ecological appraisal starts from £900. One of our ecology consultants will be able to give you a quote for the reports you need within 24 hours. Quotes are free and there is no obligation to use our services.

Back to Top