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Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Survey and Mapping

The collection of spatially accurate ecological survey data and its use in mitigation design (should this be required), is particularly important within a number of contexts, especially on modern development sites that are constrained by size and competing usage.

The distance of any impacts from the resting or breeding places of protected fauna can be a critical factor in determining whether the proposed activity is licensable or not. This decision is based upon the availability of spatially accurate field survey data.

Key aspects of mitigation design for notable habitat will also often be based largely upon spatial information. Accurate geographic data is therefore required where significant impacts upon notable habitat are identified.

Five Valley’s Ecology is able to capture all field data electronically using Global Positioning System (GPS) technology. Once collected, these data can be uploaded into a Geographic Information System (GIS) for the production of habitat features and mitigation plans.

Habitat features and mitigation plans produced in a GIS can be easily manipulated with other GIS datasets, and overlaid onto a range of different site plans. The GIS works with quantitative, geographic data, thereby increasing precision in the determination of potential impacts and any subsequent mitigation design if required.

Mitigation designs can be easily transferred from the GIS for accurate implementation and setting out in the field using handheld GPS technology. GIS data can also be easily distributed among end users such as different members of the project team, statutory consultees, and client suppliers.

We also use GPS and GIS extensively for wetland ecology and design, such as conducting detailed topographic surveys and producing contour maps as detailed in our list of Wetland Ecology Case Studies.

For more information, or to obtain a free proposal, please contact us.

Five Valleys Ecology Ltd


Email us to book a free 15 minute no-obligation consultation to discuss your site and requirements in more detail.

Survey Season Calendar

Download a copy of our latest Ecology Survey Calendar (pdf, 210 K) to help avoid costly delays to your projects due to missing ecology survey windows.

Start of the Great Crested Newt Survey Season

Surveys for great crested newts (GCNs) can be undertaken from mid-March to mid-June depending on weather conditions. Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) require survey information before planning applications are determined in accordance with Paragraphs 98 and 99 of 'ODPM Circular 06/2005 Biodiversity and Geological Conservation'. We recommend that clients consider the requirement for newt surveys now and plan ahead. Do not miss the narrow GCN survey window. Contact us now to book in surveys and for further advice.

Supreme Court Ruling on the 'Deliberate Disturbance' Offence

In the case of Morge vs Hampshire County Council [2011] UKSC 2 on appeal from: [2010] EWCA Civ 608 the Supreme Court has overruled the Court of Appeal and given a more cautious interpretation of the Article 12(1)(b) 'deliberate disturbance' offence. The Supreme Court believed that the Court of Appeal had set the threshold for 'deliberate disturbance' too high. Whilst no minimum threshold was given by the Supreme Court, a leading environmental lawyer has reviewed the case and believes that in some circumstances disturbance of one or two individuals of a European Protected Species (EPS) may fall within the offence.

Five Valleys Ecology Receive an Ethical Award from the Ethical Company Organisation

Five Valleys Ecology are delighted to have received an Ethical Award and accreditation from the Ethical Company Organisation in recognition of our strong commitment to ethical business practices. The research team stated 'Five Valleys Ecology are commended for puting ethical and environmental considerations at the heart of their business and for providing an ethical alternative within their sector'.


Email us to book a free 15 minute no-obligation consultation to discuss your site and requirements in more detail.