Ecology Surveys in the South East

As ecological features can act as an obstruction to your South East development, our ecology surveys conducted by licensed ecologists are effective in eliminating issues and supporting planning applications.

Get a Quick Quote

Step 1 of 3

Same Day Quotes
Planning Permission Focused
Simple, Hassle-free Service

South East England Ecological Value

Integrating undeveloped rural areas with a multitude of towns and villages, the South East region boasts a vast collection of countryside locations across the nine counties of BerkshireBuckinghamshireEast SussexHampshire, the Isle of WightKentOxfordshireSurrey and West Sussex. Built-up areas within these counties with a population above 100,000 for more than two decades include Southampton, Portsmouth, Reading, Brighton and Hove, Oxford, Milton Keynes, Slough, High Wycombe and Worthing.

An estimated 80% of the South East region is considered rural, and with such a high percentage of rural areas over urban areas, the local authorities are met with the challenge of allowing planning projects to go ahead without harming the environment as as a result. Protecting biodiversity value, ecological features and the environment as a whole is possible, however, with the insights of an ecologist through an ecology survey on the site.

In an ecology survey, a licensed ecologist will visit the site to undertake a physical inspection of all ecological features present. The ecological consultant will then speak directly to the developer to grasp an understanding of the proposed development, using it as an opportunity to gauge potential damages to the ecological standard of the site.

Once any unavoidable obstructions to the development site have been identified, the ecological surveyor will work out effective methods to mitigate, and both the results of the assessment and the ecologist’s mitigation measures will be detailed in an ecology report, eliminating any issues involving ecological features and bolstering planning applications.

Protected Species Located Throughout the South East

Parts of legislation that outline protections over certain animal species includes Schedule II of Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 and Section 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. While all protected species are listed, the presence of animals in any location is determined by the climate, and whether or not suitable habitats are available.

Focusing on the South East specifically, protected species in the region by county are named below:

Berkshire

  • Adders
  • Bats
  • Lapwings
  • Otters
  • Water Voles

Buckinghamshire

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

East Sussex

  • Badgers
  • Bats
  • Brown Hares
  • Dormice
  • Reptiles
  • Water Voles

Hampshire

  • Bats
  • Brown Hares
  • Dormice
  • Great Crested Newts

Isle of Wight

  • Badgers
  • Bats
  • Red Squirrels
  • Water Voles
  • White-Tailed Eagles

Kent

  • Bats
  • Dormice
  • Great Crested Newts

Oxfordshire

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

Surrey

  • Bats
  • Dormice
  • Natterjack Toads
  • Otters
  • Reptiles

West Sussex

  • Badgers
  • Bats
  • Brown Hares
  • Dormice
  • Reptiles
  • Water Voles

Surveying Ecological and Environmental Features

From the shortlist of ecological surveys, a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA) / Phase 1 Habitat Survey is commonly the first step in the process. On a predetermined date, an ecological consultant will visit a development site to conduct a PEA survey, paying particular attention to protected species of animal and valuable or invasive species of plant. After inspecting all areas, ecological features on the site will be noted, and the ecological surveyor will then work out whether or not they will conflict with the plans of the project.

A mitigation hierarchy will be used to decide on the best course of action for any ecological features that could cause problems to the project. The ecologist will always see retaining ecological features as the most preferable outcome, but if this isn’t possible, they will choose to relocate them elsewhere or, as a last resort, destroy them and compensate for losses to biodiversity inside or outside of the development site.

In some cases, it may be necessary to carry out further ecology surveys as a method of gaining more information about the presence of ecological features on the site. Examples of invasive species surveys include giant hogweed surveys, Himalayan balsam surveys, injurious weed surveys or Japanese knotweed surveys, and examples of protected species surveys include badger surveys, barn owl surveys, bat surveys, dormouse surveys, great crested newt surveys, otter surveys, reptile surveys or water vole surveys.

Immediately after the ecology survey, the ecologist will create an ecology report with all of the necessary information included, such as details about the assessment, next steps for present ecological features, and suggestions for any further surveys required on the site. The completed ecology survey report can then be handed to the planning officer of the local planning authority, and as it will feature all of the required information to pass applications for planning permission, it should satisfy their strict requirements and allow the project to move forwards.

Ecological Consultants and Surveyors

All ecological surveys and assessments require a comprehensive understanding of flora and fauna, particularly as it could prompt the need for further surveys to gather more information on protected species and invasive plant species present on the site. Due to this, the ecological consultants in our ranks hold sufficient knowledge of ecology and corresponding subject areas. Likewise, our ecological surveyors possess bachelor’s and master’s degrees in relevant topics and a wealth of experience conducting ecological surveys for numerous purposes, industries and clients.

As well as the academical qualifications and personal skills, our ecologists are based all over the UK – including the South East region and the counties therein – giving all clients an opportunity to book an ecology survey with one of our insightful professional experts. With an immense level of expertise in ecology, our ecological consultants are capable of conducting a broad range of ecology surveys, all with the prestige to give your local planning authority all they need to grant planning consent on your site.

Request a No-Obligation Quote

If you want advice with deciding on the most suitable ecology survey for your site and project, or if you know what type of ecological assessment you need and simply want to book, speak to our team, and they will be able to process your needs to determine the right step forward.

Fill in a quick quote form or call us directly and give us details of your site and project, and our team can provide you with a free quote based on your unique specifications. Providing you are happy to move forwards, we can then decide on a suitable date to visit your site, undertake the necessary ecology survey, and help you with gaining a planning condition.