Ecology Surveys in Yorkshire and the Humber

Any and all ecological factors on your Yorkshire and the Humber development site can be identified and mitigated through effective ecology surveys undertaken by expert ecologists.

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Yorkshire’s Natural Spaces

Commonly nicknamed ‘god’s own country’ due to the angelic countryside views, a significant 80% of England’s Yorkshire and the Humber region is recognised as rural. Looking more specifically at the individual counties within this region, North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and East Riding of Yorkshire all hold a percentage of rural areas at 70% or above. Not only that, but through various initiatives across Yorkshire, efforts to maintain and enhance the state of the environment are ongoing.

The planning departments within Yorkshire and the Humber’s local councils focus on conserving, preserving and protecting the quality of biodiversity in the region. Primary considerations consist of protected wildlife species and valuable plants, and with such an emphasis on safeguarding these natural assets, a land development project undertaken in Yorkshire and the Humber would require the necessary ecology surveys before the local planning authority would even consider passing a planning application.

Over the course of an ecology survey on your Yorkshire development site, a qualified and licensed ecologist will be able to gauge the circumstances of all ecological factors present before developing methods of mitigating them, enabling the project to move forward. Local planning authorities consider reports from ecology surveys to be tangible, valuable evidence that a trusted ecological consultant has properly assessed the site. As such, once they are given an ecology report, they will be left with no reason to deny an application for planning consent.

Protected Animal Species in the Yorkshire Region

In the UK, certain animal species are protected under Schedule 2 of the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 and Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Within each piece of legislation, you will find the longlist of every protected species in the UK. However, as wildlife can appear in different parts of the country based on climate and the standard of the environment, the species present in Yorkshire will vary compared to the rest of the country.

For clarity on the protected species in Yorkshire and the Humber, we have listed them below by county:

East Riding of Yorkshire

  • Avocets
  • Barn Owl
  • Bitterns
  • Black Tailed Godwits
  • Brown Hare
  • Common Toad
  • Curlews
  • Golden Plovers
  • Gannets
  • Grass Snake
  • Grey Crested Newt
  • Grey Partridge
  • Kittiwakes
  • Otters
  • Puffins
  • Razorbills
  • Skylark
  • Tree Sparrow
  • Water Voles
  • Yellowhammer

North Yorkshire

  • Badgers
  • Barn Owls
  • Bats
  • Common Cranes
  • Great Crested Newts
  • House Martins
  • Otters
  • Pine Martens
  • Swallows
  • Swifts
  • Water Voles

South Yorkshire

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

West Yorkshire

  • Bats
  • Dormice
  • Great Crested Newts
  • Lizards
  • Otters
  • Snakes

An Ecological Assessment

Depending on the site and project, any number of ecology surveys may be necessary. However, a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA) / Phase 1 Habitat Survey is the baseline assessment and usually occurs first to determine the ecological condition of the plot of land. On the day of a PEA survey, a licensed ecological consultant will analyse the site for evidence of protected species and valuable or invasive plants.

Once the ecologist has developed an understanding of the site and all natural assets present, they can cross-examine their findings with the proposed development to work out the best course of action for mitigating potential obstructions. For example, if they found evidence of protected species or valuable plants on the site, it would be important to gauge the most suitable next steps, whether it would be to keep them in the same location and tweak the planning project or move them safely elsewhere.

If more information is needed following the discovery of a valuable plant or protected species, the consultant will advise on further ecology surveys needed on the site. Other protected species surveys could include badger surveys, barn owl surveys, bat surveys, dormouse surveys, great crested newt surveys, otter surveys, reptile surveys or water vole surveys, and invasive species surveys could include giant hogweed surveys, Himalayan balsam surveys, injurious weed surveys or Japanese knotweed surveys.

Upon completion of the PEA, an ecological report will be created by the surveyor. Including all of their findings, recommendations and evidence from the ecology survey, it will give the local planning authority all the information they need to grant a planning condition on the site.

Consultant Ecologists in Yorkshire

With a wide range of protected species and numerous intricate plants, it is vital that anyone undertaking an ecological survey has a comprehensive understanding of all areas of ecology. In some cases, ecological consultancies specialise in certain areas rather than having an all-encompassing knowledge of ecology as a whole, and when this happens, the ecological consultant may be unable to advise on or undertake the suitable assessments.

Unlike some ecological consultancies, our ecologists are educated to bachelor’s or master’s degree level and possess the required experience of carrying out a broad variety of ecology surveys. Located across the UK, we have ecological surveyors in Yorkshire and the Humber for conducting invasive species surveys, protected species surveys, PEA surveys, and any other ecology surveys that could benefit your development and the process of gaining planning consent.

Speak to Our Team

Whether you are aware of the ecology surveys you require or need advice with choosing the most suitable way forward on your development, we can offer you the support you need along with a free quote based on the specifications of your site and project.

All you need to do is contact us using our handy quote form or over the phone and our friendly team can talk you through your options. If you are happy to go ahead, we can then work with you to choose a good time to visit your site, and help to get your application for planning permission over the line.