BSG Ecology ecologists have expertise in both freshwater and terrestrial invertebrates. We are able to undertake survey for all key invertebrate groups, evaluate results and assess effects. Our invertebrate service also includes advice on mitigation, management for and monitoring of invertebrate populations.


Over 30,000 invertebrates occur in Great Britain.  Three of these are European Protected Species, around 70 receive protection under domestic legislation, and approximately 400 of are Species of Principal Importance for the conservation of biodiversity in England/Wales (under the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act, 2006).  These species are material considerations of the planning process.

BSG Ecology’s team includes specialists in freshwater and terrestrial invertebrate survey, identification and assessment.  Individual staff have researched subject areas including: beetles in pastoral landscapes; effects of acid deposition on invertebrates communities occupying streams; and aspects of the ecology of the (protected) medicinal leech. Our team is supported by experienced sub-consultant entomologists, including national experts in the ecology and determination of some species groups.  Where there is a particular species or species group that is the focus of survey and/or consultee concerns, one or more of these specialists is brought into the team.

Invertebrate Survey

Initial analysis of desk study data and an assessment of habitat quality is often of critical importance in determining whether invertebrate surveys are necessary to inform a planning application.

Typical survey work undertaken by BSG Ecology staff includes:

  • Habitat appraisal surveys of sites with potential to support invertebrates of principal importance or habitats capable of supporting important invertebrate communities;
  • Targeted survey, covering (as necessary) all key groups of aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates;
  • Surveys of protected or otherwise notable invertebrate species (e.g. white-clawed crayfish, Desmoulin’s whorl snail, lesser silver water beetle, or rare dragonfly or butterfly species) or communities (e.g. pond or dead wood invertebrates); and,
  • Assessment of biological water quality of ponds, lakes, streams and rivers, using freshwater invertebrates as indicators of ecosystem health.

BSG staff can undertake all commonly used survey techniques, including direct searching, sweep netting, vacuum sampling, pitfall trapping, malaise trapping, light trapping (for example for moths), kick sampling and water trapping.

Invertebrate Consultancy Services

We offer a ‘whole-life’ service which typically starts with a scoping survey, progresses through an assessment, and may end with a habitat management plan.  Our consultancy services include:

  • Scoping assessments to determine the requirement for targeted invertebrate survey, and where required, define the nature of this;
  • Species / sample identification in our own laboratories;
  • Analysis of results to determine the value of specific species recorded and assemblages present;
  • Discussion of implications of survey results to the project in the context of relevant legislation and policy;
  • Production of technical reports in a format suitable for inclusion as appendices to Ecological Impact Assessment chapters;
  • Mitigation, management and monitoring advice, especially in relation to planning conditions concerning invertebrates;
  • Provision of advice on the design and implementation of mitigation, compensation and enhancement measures for invertebrates (such as invertebrate-friendly urban design, brownfield habitat creation and pond restoration), and delivery of long-term monitoring of such schemes;
  • Translocation of protected invertebrate species under license;
  • Research-led projects examining, for example, habitat creation methods, species associations within their environment, and distribution and abundance of specific invertebrate groups.