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Site Studies - Introduction

Many different terms are used to describe ecological surveys and reporting such as Baseline Ecology Surveys, 'Extended' Phase 1 Habitat Surveys, Phase 1 Ecological Surveys, Ecological Assessments, Ecological Appraisals, Ecology Scoping Surveys and Ecological Walkovers. The all typically include some form of Ecological Impact Assessment (EcIA).

Set of site plansThe current lack of consistency in terminology for these types of studies across the industry, and the different levels of survey effort and background work associated with them, can be confusing and make it difficult for clients to understand what is required in a particular situation. The Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (IEEM) have published 'Guidelines for Preliminary Ecological Appraisal' to help address this situation.

Five Valleys Ecology undertake several types of site-based ecological studies, each with a differing scope of work and purpose. These studies generally fall into four broad categories. The distinction between the different site-based studies is not fixed, and sometimes need to be adjusted to suit requirements.

The different types of site-based ecological studies undertaken by Five Valleys Ecology are listed below. Please select the appropriate option from the bullet list, or from the drop down menu in the Services tab for further details:

BREEAM Ecology Assessments are slightly different to the site-based ecological studies listed above as they form part of an overall environmental assessment and BREEAM ratings system for buildings.

If you would like to contact us, we would be happy to provide advice specific to your project regarding the most suitable scope of ecological survey and reporting based upon our extensive experience.

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.