BSG Ecology can provide support to all stages of EcIA, from preliminary ecological assessment to screening and scoping inputs, baseline survey, biodiversity-friendly design, mitigation and impact assessment. BSG can also provide support in the discharge of ecological planning conditions, with regard to habitat management and monitoring.
BSG Ecology regularly completes Ecological Impact Assessments (EcIAs) for major developments including mineral extraction schemes, new residential, urban extension and regeneration projects, retail, leisure, golf courses , wind farm proposals, energy from waste plants, and road and pipeline infrastructure. BSG Ecology has a detailed understanding of the requirements of the regulations governing Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.
Ecological Impact Assessment Services
Our team is able to provide advice and support at all stages of EcIA including:
- Ecological advice: early identification of the likely ecological effects of development to inform scheme design and avoid unnecessary expenditure and delays;
- Screening: preliminary appraisals to identify likely ecological sensitivities and input to formal screening requests (including providing justification where ecology does not need to be taken forward as part of the formal EIA);
- Scoping: input to multi-disciplinary and stand-alone scoping reports aimed at establishing and agreeing key ecological receptors, a proportional level of survey effort to inform the EcIA, and the baseline against which the assessment should be made;
- Baseline survey work: we have a large team of ecologists with wide ranging specialisms and an established network of reliable sub-contractors;
- GIS expertise: to inform early multi-disciplinary constraints mapping exercises, create clear geo-referenced graphics, analyse data, and pass this information easily around the EIA project team;
- Detailed design phase input: incorporation of biodiversity within development design, reducing adverse impacts and providing net gain where possible in line with national and local planning policies and biodiversity priorities (thereby increasing the chances of planning consent);
- Stakeholder engagement: liaison and negotiation with statutory consultees, attendance at public exhibitions and provision of information to stakeholders including local interest groups;
- EcIA Chapters: delivery of objective, well-structured and technically robust outputs based on industry guidance tailored specifically to the given scheme. We base our EcIAs on the framework provided by the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM);
- Cumulative assessments: either within EcIA Chapters or as part of stand-alone chapters within Environmental Statements;
- Design of mitigation strategies: to avoid, reduce and minimise potential effects and to ensure legislative compliance;
- Production of Habitat Management Plans: to deliver enhancement in line with national and local planning policy and to compensate (where necessary) for ecological effects relating to the development;
- Development of on or off site compensation strategies: to address biodiversity loss where impacts cannot be avoided or mitigated adopting an integrated approach to biodiversity within the landscape.
We work closely with our clients and other consultants (particularly hydrologists, noise and air quality consultants) to ensure that all potential environmental effects are considered in an integrated manner.
We also provide help and support to our clients in the discharge of planning conditions, on-site ecology support, application for mitigation and conservation licences for European Protected Species, and undertake external technical reviews of EcIAs on behalf of developers and local authorities.