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.
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.