UK and EU legislation provides certain species and habitats protection in order to safeguard them from activities that may damage or destroy them such as development projects.

In order to ascertain whether a project may have a negative impact on a protected species or habitat a survey should be conducted by a suitably qualified and, if required, licensed ecologist.  If a planning application is submitted without an accompanying ecological survey report and it is later requested by the local planning authority then a costly delay could occur.

When planning a development early consideration should be given to the potential ecological constraints on site.  This should include knowledge of when surveys for particular species is considered appropriate.  For example: activity surveys for bats are not normally conducted over the winter period.

For most developments the best option is to conduct an Extended Phase 1 Survey as early in the planning process as possible.  This type of survey can provide baseline information on habitats on site as well as give an assessment of the potential of those habitats to support protected species and thereby allowing an informed decision to be made on what surveys would be suitable.

Our Survey Calendar provides details of when surveys are normally considered appropriate.

For information about specific species or types of vegetative surveys please use the links provided.