Ecology Surveys in the East Midlands

Although hindrances are somewhat inevitable in any planning project, you can identify and eliminate any and all ecological issues on your East Midlands development through arranging an ecology survey with a licensed ecologist.

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The East Midlands Region’s Natural Features

With almost as much as 90% of it considered rural, the East Midlands region has an abundance of green spaces across the counties of Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Rutland. Additionally, Nottinghamshire is particularly famous for trees and wooded areas as the home of Sherwood Forest and Nottingham Forest Football Club. As a whole, however, the East Midlands has been subjected to a decline in biodiversity in recent times, and the quality of the environment has plummeted year on year.

Local councils in the region and the corresponding counties are aiming to improve the standard of biodiversity across the East Midlands, and with a focus on the environment, planning projects that could cause further harm to green areas could be under threat. However, local authorities will allow land developments to move forward and accept planning applications if they are given sufficient evidence that the project is being carried out accordingly in the form of an ecology survey.

Listed Protected Species Found in the East Midlands

Multiple pieces of legislation outline the protections around animal species found in the UK. The two primary examples of this are Schedule II of the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 and Section 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 where details around how danger and disturbance to animals is strictly prohibited. All of the UK’s protected species are also listed, but as the presence of each animal will vary by location, it isn’t universally applicable across the country.

For anyone interested in learning which protected species are present in the East Midlands counties, you will find further details below:

Derbyshire

  • Bats
  • Great Crested Newt
  • Otters
  • Water Voles

Leicestershire

  • Badgers
  • Bats
  • Great Crested Newts
  • Kingfishers
  • Little Ringed Plovers
  • Water Voles

Lincolnshire

  • Badgers
  • Bats
  • Great Crested Newts

Northamptonshire

  • Adders
  • Barn Owls
  • Bats
  • Common Toads
  • Dormice
  • Great Crested Newts
  • Otters
  • Polecats
  • Tree Sparrows

Nottinghamshire

  • Bats
  • Great Crested Newts
  • Otters
  • Water Voles

Rutland

  • Badgers
  • Bats
  • Great Crested Newts
  • Kingfishers
  • Little Ringed Plovers
  • Water Voles

Ecologically Surveying A Development Site

While ecological surveys can be utilised to fulfil numerous purposes, the common assessment that is often used as the first step for surveying any site is the Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA) / Phase 1 Habitat Survey. During a PEA survey, an ecologist will view all areas of a site and look for signs of protected animal species or valuable plants in the vicinity.

Flora and fauna can extend to a wide range of animals and plants, with each option having a suitable ecology survey for identifying and mitigating the presence of these components on a site. Protected species surveys, for instance, could refer to badger surveys, barn owl surveys, bat surveys, dormouse surveys, great crested newt surveys, otter surveys, reptile surveys or water vole surveys, while invasive species surveys could consist of giant hogweed surveys, Himalayan balsam surveys, injurious weed surveys or Japanese knotweed surveys.

Combining their findings with information from the developer in regards to the plans of the project, the ecology surveyor can work out if ecological assets on the site could interfere with the development or vice versa. If they determine that this is the case, the ecologist will find appropriate next steps that will allow the project to move forward without harming animal habitats or valuable plants on the site.

In any situation, the priority outcome would be to retain ecological features and leave them undisturbed. However, as a development can disrupt protected species and valuable plants, the ecological consultant may be left with no option but to move them elsewhere. In instances where the roosts are empty or they are dealing with damaged or invasive plants that will cause harm to the project or the environment, they may resort to destroying them completely.

Upon completion of the PEA survey, an ecology report will be created by the surveyor to explain the assessment process, emphasise the condition of the site using graphs and images, and provide next steps that can be used to progress the planning project in a way that is eco-friendly and kind to local biodiversity. The completed ecology survey report can then be handed directly to the local planning authority, who will use it in the decision making process of determining whether or not they choose to grant a planning condition.

Capable Ecology Consultants

When it comes to ecology, there are multiple areas to cover ranging from the seemingly endless list of protected species to the vast array of valuable or invasive plant species. As a result of this factor, ecologists conducting ecological surveys must possess an extensive understanding of ecology and all related areas. Using this approach, they can not only identify evidence of ecological features on the site and advise on further surveys needed, but also potentially return to the site to undertake these assessments themselves.

Holding a healthy combination of experience and knowledge, all of our ecological surveyors are suitably qualified and capable of conducting comprehensive ecology surveys on your site, whether it is in the East Midlands or anywhere else in the country. With the correct licensing and qualifications, you can trust our ecologists to carry out ecology surveys, protected species surveys or invasive species surveys with sufficient information and recommendations to successfully achieve planning permission.

Plan Your Ecological Assessment

You may be fully aware of the ecological surveys you need, or you may feel that you require expert advice to understand the most suitable course of action. Either way, our helpful team are always happy to speak to clients and support them with taking the correct next step. All you need to do is contact our team by calling us on the number above or filling out our quick quote form, and we will be able to give you a free no obligation quote that suits your site and project.

After agreeing to our quote, we will work with you to decide an appropriate time to visit your site to carry out the survey. The ecologist in charge of the assessment will then produce your ecology report within a few days of completing the survey, and you can then submit the ecology survey report to your local planning authority to bolster your application for planning consent.