Focused, accurate reports to support the progression of planning applications and scope of your project. Careful and practical mitigation designed to ensure legislation compliance, implemented with ongoing management and monitoring give you complete peace of mind through to completion.
Preliminary Ecological Assessments (PEA)
PRELIMINARY ECOLOGICAL ASSESSMENTS
The Preliminary Ecological Assessment (PEA) is the important first stage of any ecological site investigation. It identifies any potential ecological constraints at a site, assesses the need for further species focused surveys, Protected Species, and reports upon the findings making strategic recommendations.
The PEA, formerly known as Phase 1 or extended Phase 1 habitat survey, comprises of an ecological desk study (searches of online and historical records) and an onsite habitat survey that extends to assess any potential ecological feature that may be a site constraint.
The results of this assessment will allow our experienced, qualified team to give our clients and developers guidance and support, making recommendations upon what further reporting, surveying and mitigation are likely to be required for the site in order to progress. This information is incredibly helpful when it comes to the site planning, design and scheduling.
Incorporation of our advice into the design and planning stage of the project makes it more efficient and effective in scheduling works, keeping to the budget and timescales, as well as having a positive outcome and ecological approach.
Protected Species Surveys
PROTECTED SPECIES SURVEYS
If initial site surveys, PEA suggest that any protected species are or are likely present on a site, it will be necessary to have protected species surveys. Protected species are a list of animals and plants that receive protection at both a national and international levels, under a range of relevant legislations.
The information obtained from the appropriate protected species surveys will provide an understanding of the population dynamics, numbers and pattern of behaviour. The information obtained enables the design and planning to retain the species at their Favourable Conservation Status (FCS), by implementing mitigation into the final design consultation. Once planning has been granted the appropriate mitigation designed can be used to obtain a license from the relevant statutory body in order to progress your scheme.
Our extensive expertise with surveying, licensing, mitigation and monitoring of protected species enables us to provide detailed, specialist reports that will give you clear, straightforward answers and practical solutions, while also complying with all legislation.
There are time constraints to when certain species surveys can be completed, for further information on this refer to our species survey calendar.
Licensing & Mitigation
LICENSING & MITIGATION
We have extensive experience obtaining licences from statutory bodies and implementing cost effective, common sense mitigation that help our clients establish and retain a Favourable Conservation Status (FCS). Our support will allow you to address any ecological matters ensuring your project can proceed smoothly.
We have a long and proven track record of successful licence applications for our clients and are one of the few consultancies now able to apply for Low Impact Bat Class Licences (BLICL), including works on buildings and trees for HS2 (CL39 and CL 40). The necessary ecological mitigation will need to be in place prior to an application being made to the Local Planning Authority (LPA) and post acceptance license applications to the relevant statutory bodies. We are fully equipped to assist you to prepare for these important stages of your development.
The strict requirements of the LPA and the relevant statutory bodies can be complex and confusing, as there are many license types and categories. Our clear and concise communication will ensure that you have complete confidence that your development will comply with current legislation and be able to move forward. Once mitigation is in place and your site licensed, the project can progress. Refer to our calendar for further information of mitigation timing and implementation, please note that licenses can be applied for at any time of the year.
Ecological Clerk of Works
ECOLOGICAL CLERK OF WORKS
Our experienced team fully understands the dynamics required for Ecological Clerk of Works (ECoW) and can communicate effectively with any contractors on a construction site. We ensure works are completed in accordance with legislation and best practice requirements to keep you compliant with any ecological conditions imposed.
We work on a wide range and size of developments with Ecological Clerk of Works with our expertise including;
- Experience in demolitions
- Road schemes
- Large and small-scale development
- Topsoil removal
- Destructive search
- Watching brief
- Mapping and planning
- Vegetation clearance
- Arboriculture contracting
- Contractor management
- Habitat creation
- Habitat manipulation
Our work includes,
- Pre-construction checks
- Site reports,
- Tool box talks
- Ecological watching briefs
- Habitat manipulation
- Species translocations
- Thermal assessments
- Destructive searches
We undertake risk assessments and provide detailed method statements to progress your site with our Construction Skills Certified Scheme (CSCS) registered team.
Monitoring & Management
MONITORING & MANAGEMENT
Monitoring the success of mitigation and enhancement schemes is often a condition of the licences or the planning permissions granted. We undertake ongoing monitoring surveys for a wide variety of sites, helping projects to become and stay compliant.
Monitoring varies between species, the levels varying depend upon population sizes and individual site-specific requirements. We regularly monitor artificial habitats which may include dormouse boxes, artificial badger setts, reptile translocation receptor sites, nesting and breeding bird boxes, bat boxes and much more. Each survey is designed to determine the success of the specific habitat created for, protected species or other features identified during the design phase.
The mitigation monitoring will be designed to focus on key features within past and current habitat, this requires management, a key part of a mitigation strategy. This monitoring may range from maintaining an artificial habitat through to vegetation management, planting and clearance. Our experienced and professional team manage and undertake landscaping works to ensure the success of your mitigation. All team members have the necessary qualifications and relevant health and safety training for the projects.
Monitoring results establishes both short and long-term recommendations for the site to ensure the ecology is economically managed now and in the future. The information obtained is used to assist in developing nationwide core strategies for ecology, development of green infrastructure and may even be showcased as a good example.
Environmental Impact Assessment
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT
An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is designed to carefully evaluate the potential impacts of development upon the environment and assess the effects post implementation of mitigation. Early in the planning stages EIA aims to establish any risks to the environment, assess solutions (mitigation) to reduce risks, and identify any lasting effects upon biodiversity. The EIA is used to support the Local Planning Authority (LPA) in their assessment of any site against the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), whereby a net gain to biodiversity is to be achieved.
EIA is usually required for larger schemes or those close to sensitive areas of importance to nature conservation. For small schemes Habitat Regulations (HR) screening may be mandatory and determine the subsequent need for a full EIA.
HEA Ecology carry our EIAs on a regular basis for a range of different developments and projects. Our experienced team then review all ecological literature and produce the necessary chapter and appendices that are included in the larger EIA document, which encompasses further environmental impact chapters.
We can provide continuity in our services from Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA) through to Protected Species Surveys into mitigation and the EIA chapter. These documents make for an efficient and effective service and a positive outcome for the client.
BREEAM & Code For Sustainable Homes
BREEAM & CODE FOR SUSTAINABLE HOMES
HEA ecology are “suitably qualified ecologists” under the BREEAM and Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH) scheme criteria, having undertaken numerous successful assessments for our clients on a wide range of schemes, predominantly residential and commercial developments. We work with our clients to ensure that their design can obtain the maximum number of ECO-Credits achievable and prepare or complete the necessary reports and templates. The scope of the works involved include, ecological evaluation of land, protection of ecological and environmental features, mitigation and enhancement implementation and long-term impacts.
Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA)
HABITATS REGULATIONS ASSESSMENT
Habitat regulation assessments are essential in evaluating the impacts of any proposed scheme upon the nearby sites of importance to nature conservation. Such conservation sites that would need to be considered include, Special Area of Conservation (SAC), Special Protection Areas (SPA), Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), Sites of community Importance (SCI) and Ramsar Sites. The aim is to evaluate the wider nature impact on the continuity and connectivity of these habitats. Due to a recent ruling in case law ‘People over Wind, Peter Sweetman v Coillte Teoranta (C-323/17)’, HRsA are crucial in determining if a further Appropriate Assessment is required.
If your Site is situated in proximity to a site of conservation importance and the scheme will increase the risk of impacts to the biodiversity and ecosystem, directly or indirectly, then this assessment will be required to evaluate the likelihood of the impacts. If impacts are significant and envisaged, then a further Appropriate Assessment may be required.
Understanding how your proposed scheme fits within the wider network of nature conservation habitats is crucial in being able to successfully progress through planning.
Thermal & Drone Imagery
THERMAL & DRONE IMAGERY
HEA ecology are equipped to support their survey effort with advanced, sophisticated technology which includes thermal imagers, night vision and drones. This additional apparatus allows us to get a significantly better understanding of a site compared to conventional methods alone and has proven to be more cost effective in capturing ecological survey data which would otherwise be difficult and expensive to obtain. This information can be recorded and used to support decisions, planning and license applications, as well as to assist with monitoring and provide clearer evidence to clients and stake holders.
Tree Surveys & Arboriculture
TREE SURVEYS & ABORICULTURE
Our in-house arboriculture team can help and advise on the surveys required to forward your project.
- BS5837 tree surveys and constraints plan
- Quantified Tree Risk Assessment (QTRA) – licensed
- Arboriculture Impact Assessment
- Arboriculture Method Statements
- Tree Protection Plans
- Mortgage and insurance tree reports
- Tree decay detection
- Arboriculture supervision and site monitoring
- Tree and woodland surveys and management
We are fully trained to provide arboriculture work safely and to deadlines. Our team are equipped to complete a range of tasks including:
- Site clearance
- Vegetation control
- Tree surgery
- Coppice management
- Tree protection
- Tree planting
- Tree removal and dismantling
- Tree felling
- Crown reduction
- Crown lifting
- Crown thinning
- Stump grinding
- Hedge trimming
- Hedge and shrub management
- Cable bracing
- Management of dangerous trees
- Management of veteran trees and habitats
- Shrub and fruit tree pruning
- Woodland management