Extended Phase 1 and Phase 2 Habitat Surveys and Protected Species Surveys are often known by a range of names including Ecological Surveys, Biodiversity Surveys and Species Surveys.
They are the initial assessment of a site to look at what rare, protected and notable species of plants and animals and habitats may be present and determine if any further survey work is required in relation to the impact of the proposals.
Extended Phase 1 Habitat Surveys are based on the Joint Nature Conservation Committee guidelines to assess the habitats present on or adjacent to a site. Protected Species guidance from Natural England is used to identify the potential of a site for protected species that may be present.
Recommendations are then made to avoid or reduce impacts or further surveys (Phase 2 protected species / habitat surveys) are recommended to accurately determine the presence or not of specific protected species. This level of surveys is now required at the planning stage of a project by the relevant local or county planning authority.
Desk Top Surveys are included as part of the Phase 1 Survey Methodology although these can be carried out separately if need be to determine the impact of a proposal. These usually involve a data-gathering exercise to obtain any available information relating to statutory and non-statutory nature conservation sites, priority habitats and species, and legally protected and controlled species. Sources of information used include:
- Local Records Centres
- Nationally Biodiversity Network
- Natural England
- MAGIC - Multi-Agency Geographical Information for the Countryside
- Ordnance Survey Maps
- Local Biodiversity Action Plans
Vegetation Surveys include National Vegetation Surveys (NVC), Hedgerow Surveys and Invasive Plant Surveys. Detailed vegetation surveys may be required where the vegetation communities on a site have been identified as being diverse or of ecological value. Vegetation Surveys are generally seasonal and are better carried out when it is clear what plant species are present.
Brent Geese and Wader Surveys are required on sites with potential to support these species during the winter. PV Ecology is involved in monitoring Brent Geese and Waders at sites close to Langstone Harbour SPA/SAC to determine the impact of housing proposals on these creatures' winter terrestrial habitat. 10% of the world's population of Brent Geese spend the winter on our southern shores.
Phase 2 Protected Species Surveys
Our ecologists are experienced and licensed to conduct Phase 2 surveys for the full range of protected and notable species and habitats, including:
- Brent Geese and Wader Surveys
- Great crested newts
- Plants (including NVC, BAP, Hedgerow Regulation surveys and invasive plants)
- Water voles
- Other mammals, amphibians, fish and crustaceans