When is the Right Time to Schedule an Ecological Survey?
OK, so you know you have to have an ecological assessment carried out for your development, but when is the right time to have it done?
Where you are in your Project
The Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) advises that ecological surveys should be carried out as early as possible in a project so that the findings can inform plans during the design stage. If you have an understanding of the ecological value of your site early on, it’s normally easier to resolve any issues and you won’t be faced with any unwelcome surprises further down the line.
It’s also important to remember that most protected species surveys can only be carried out during certain months of the year. Great Crested Newt surveys for example, can only be undertaken mid-March to mid-June. If you miss this window, you will need to wait until the following spring, which could mean a very expensive and unnecessary delay to your project. Our Survey Season Calendar can help you plan ahead to avoid this.
Ecological Survey Shelf Life
Ecological surveys do have a shelf life however, normally of around two years, after which time they will need to be updated or repeated. With long-term more strategic projects, this may be something that just needs to be factored in. For smaller developments, to keep costs down you may wish to schedule your surveys no more than two years before you intend to submit your planning application.
Phase 1 Surveys
Preliminary Ecological Appraisals (PEAs) and Preliminary Roost Assessments (PRAs) are usually the starting point in an ecological assessment and can be carried out at any time of year. The month of March is a good time because it means that any phase 2 protected species surveys, if required, can be booked in at the start of the survey season. Phase 2 surveys usually require multiple site visits so it’s best if they are scheduled as early as possible in the season to allow plenty of time.
If you’d like a quote for your site or even just some free advice, please get in touch – we’d be very happy to help.
Urban Edge Environmental Consulting Ltd
Unit 5 | Westergate Business Centre
Westergate Road | Brighton | BN2 4QN
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