What is a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal?
Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (sometimes referred to as an Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey) is the primary tool for assessing a sites ecological quality. In terms of development or planning, a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal is the first stage of ecological survey conducted to ascertain whether further ecological survey effort is required to assess a development’s potential impacts.
The survey involves assessing ecological features of your site and the surrounds, looking at which habitat types are present, as well as the potential to support any protected species. The results are analysed and presented to the client in report format with maps, including any recommendations for further work to ensure that your site is both legally compliant and able to meet any planning requirements in terms of ecology.
The terminology can be varied when referring to this type of survey and there are slight differences between them. The following terms are often used in lieu of Preliminary Ecological Appraisal, with some slight differences:
- Baseline survey
- Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey
- Constraints Survey
- Ecological Site Assessment
- Ecological Site Appraisal
- Ecological Scoping Survey
- Walkover Survey
- Ecological Survey
When do I need to get in touch?
Contact EcoNorth as soon as possible to check whether as proposed development or change of site us requires a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal. Completing a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal before submitted a planning application can a significant amount of time, specially if further surveys are required which depend on seasonality. The optimal time for a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal is between May and September in order to establish flowering plant species present, however in a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal can be undertaken at any time of the year.
Completion of a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal at the start of the year enables you to identify any further surveys for protected species that have restricted survey periods, generally during the spring and summer months. This allows you to plan your development schedule accordingly and prevent expensive delays further down the line. For further details of survey timings visit the ‘When Can I Do My Survey ?’ section.
How can EcoNorth help me?
EcoNorth can assist with ecological input into any project, both large and small, so if it’s a small patch of land or a large excavation scheme we can undertake the survey using up to date best practice guidelines and technology. We offer clear and pragmatic advice on required mitigation and recommendations for further action based on our findings and, create innovative solutions to support you project and the site’s ecology.