HABITAT & VEGETATION SURVEYS
Preliminary Ecological Appraisal
A Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (formerly known as Phase 1 Habitat Surveys) is the most common type of ecological survey required before a development is granted planning permission. Using this method, an ecologist is able to visit a site and assess its ecological value in the form of its potential to support or provide a service to any protected species.
A JCA ecologist will visit the site to map the habitat types present and record the dominant floral species and any faunal species encountered. A desktop study will also be undertaken to collect local records of protected species and nature conservation sites.
This information will then be used in conjunction with local and national planning policy to produce a report detailing both the results of the survey and recommendations for further ecological surveys. A well implemented Preliminary Ecological Appraisal can reduce the risk of protected species being harmed by a development, identify potential ecological problems the site may face (such as invasive plant species) and reduce the likelihood of unnecessary surveys being carried out in the future.
Ecological enhancements such as installation of bat/bird boxes can be given to reduce the impact of the proposed development on local biodiversity.
Preliminary Ecological Appraisal Constraints
As with many other ecological surveys, there are time constraints as to when a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal can be conducted. This is because plants within different habitat types will only be present at certain times of the year. Conducting surveys at sub-optimal times of the year may lead to important habitats or floral species being missed, and so you may be asked to redo a survey during the optimum time.
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