We carry out Phase 1 habitat survey throughout the UK, and can undertake more detailed National Vegetation Classification (NVC) survey and surveys for rare plants where required. We employ specialist botanists; our experience includes assessment of habitat condition and value as part of net gain metric calculations, design of botanical mitigation, translocation, and the preparation of habitat management plans. Our team combines wide-ranging survey experience with technical knowledge and expertise.

Overview

Our capability allows us to provide high quality survey results coupled with appropriate evaluation and assessment. We apply this experience to develop net gain, mitigation and compensation strategies to address the impacts of development; for condition monitoring of Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs); to monitor species to determine conservation status and to assess impacts of development. We have written a variety of management plans for rare plant species, habitats and nature reserves.

Our survey capability includes:

  • Phase 1 Habitat Survey, from site-based to county-wide projects;
  • Extended Phase 1 Habitat Surveys – these expand the scope of the Phase 1 Habitat Survey to include assessment of protected and notable species;
  • NVC Survey of semi-natural plant communities;
  • Phase 2 botanical survey for sites and habitats that do not readily conform to the NVC system, such as post-industrial (brownfield) sites;
  • Monitoring communities and plant species to determine their response to management;
  • Phase 3 surveys of individual plant species, including rare protected species such as maidenhair spleenwort, fine leaved sandwort and lizard orchid;

GIS, Data Analysis and Presentation

We can use GIS to map and monitor habitats, communities and populations and to correlate abundance and distribution with other factors such as aspect, gradient, and soil type. On large sites (for example, in moorland) we can use GIS tools to accurately map habitats; this greatly reduces post-survey data processing time. We can use statistical software programmes including MATCH, MAVIS or TABLEFIT to classify NVC communities.

Ecology Consultancy Services

Our ecology consultancy services include:

  • Preliminary appraisals of habitats, communities and plant species located within proposed development sites;
  • Carrying out survey to allow habitat evaluation, condition assessment and metric calculations that are required for the delivery of net gain for development;
  • Detailed habitat and botanical impact assessments to inform planning applications
  • Advice on the implications of legal protection afforded to habitats and plant species;
  • Method statements to ensure legislative compliance and minimise impacts;
  • Habitat management plans;
  • Habitat evaluation to identify habitat restoration or re-creation land management requirements;
  • Development and implementation of botanical monitoring programmes including ‘community condition assessments’;
  • Species population census studies;
  • Appropriate Assessment / Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) advice (with regard to botanical Special Areas of Conservation and Ramsar Sites).