Ecology Surveys in the East of England

With licensed ecologists in the East of England, we can offer ecology surveys in the region and neighbouring areas to enhance your application for planning permission with the local planning authority.

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East of England Environmental Quality

Although the East of England has numerous towns and cities such as Ipswich, Luton, Norwich, Peterborough, Southend and Watford, the region is in fact 80% rural. While BedfordshireCambridgeshireEssexHertfordshire and Suffolk all possess a significant number of countryside areas, Norfolk is the fourth largest county in England and is made up nearly entirely of green areas, making it 93% rural.

Both protected animal species and certain plant species can pose a threat to developers as an obstruction to planning projects, particularly if they are found late on in the process or are unnecessarily disturbed, as it would mean causing a breach of UK law. A potential problem in any land development, ecological issues are distinctly more prevalent in widely rural areas such as the East of England region. Fortunately, ecological obstacles on a site can be identified and safely retained, relocated or destroyed through the insights from an ecology survey carried out by a licensed ecologist.

Current Protected Species in the East of England

Protected animal species are present throughout England and – under Schedule II of the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 and Section 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 – any harm or disturbance to these animals is strictly forbidden. Each species may or may not appear based on the specific location, meaning that the animals in the East of England may differ to species in other regions.

For clarity, all animal species currently in the East of England are outlined below:

Bedfordshire

  • Badgers
  • Bats
  • Dormice
  • Great Crested Newts
  • Natterjack Toads
  • Water Voles

Cambridgeshire

  • Badgers
  • Bats
  • Great Crested Newts
  • Otters
  • Water Voles

Essex

  • Badgers
  • Barn Owls
  • Bats
  • Dormice
  • Great Crested Newts
  • Otters
  • Water Voles

Hertfordshire

  • Badgers
  • Bats
  • Dormice
  • Great Crested Newts
  • Otters
  • Water Voles

Norfolk

  • Badgers
  • Barn Owls
  • Bats
  • Great Crested Newts
  • Water Voles

Suffolk

  • Badgers
  • Barn Owls
  • Bats
  • Great Crested Newts
  • Hazel Dormice
  • Natterjack Toads
  • Otters
  • Water Voles

Forms of Ecological Survey

During an inspection on a plot of land, an ecological assessment could consist of one of several types of ecology survey. In the majority of cases, the ecologist will first advise undertaking a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA) / Phase 1 Habitat Survey to identify any and all ecological features on the site, particularly if the landowner or developer is unaware of whether or not protected species or valuable plants are present.

Once all invasive plants and protected species on the site have been found, the ecological surveyor will determine if the proposed development could disturb them and develop methods of mitigating based on their findings. The results of the PEA survey and effective recommendations that will enable the planning project to progress will then be outlined in an ecology survey report. A completed ecology report can be passed on to the local planning authority to support the developer’s application for planning permission.

If, however, the ecological consultant finds protected species or invasive / valuable plants that prompt the need for further surveys, they will need to conduct specific protected species surveys or invasive species surveys on the site before the local council will grant a planning condition. Examples of further ecology surveys include badger surveys, barn owl surveys, bat surveys, dormouse surveys, great crested newt surveys, otter surveys, reptile surveys or water vole surveys for protected animal species, and giant hogweed surveys, Himalayan balsam surveys, injurious weed surveys or Japanese knotweed surveys for invasive or valuable plant species.

Ecological Consultancy Services

Based on the fact that ecological surveys incorporate broad assessments of development sites alongside various animal and plant species, it is a strict requirement of any ecologist in charge of an ecology survey to harness an understanding of numerous areas. Not only that, but an ecological consultant would need to be just as effective undertaking ecology assessments as they are recommending them as a result of their findings.

Specifically looking at our ecologists, we boast of a team packed with experience, knowledge and the relevant qualifications to conduct comprehensive ecological surveys on your site. Including protected species surveys, invasive species surveys and Preliminary Ecological Appraisals, our ecological surveyors are capable of visiting your site in the East of England or any other part of the country, identifying ecological obstructions to your development, finding necessary next steps, and reporting in a way that gives your local authority no reason but to grant planning consent.

Plan an Ecology Survey Today

In some cases, you may have an understanding of the required ecology survey on your site. Alternatively, you may be in the early stages of your planning project and feel completely lost with the ecology surveys you need to appease your local council. Whether you are in the first or second category, we would advise getting in touch with our team using our helpful quote form or directly over the phone, and our team will be able to support you with taking the next step.

A free quote will then be created using the details of your site and project before being sent straight to you over email. As soon as you reply to us to say that you are happy to move forward, we can give you available dates for a site visit, and one of our licensed ecologists can carry out the required ecology surveys to bolster your planning application.