Preliminary Ecological Appraisal

A Preliminary Ecological Appraisal provides you with baseline ecological information about your site, its habitats and species.

What is it?

A Preliminary Ecological Appraisal is normally based on three elements:

  • A desk study to gather existing information on designated sites, habitats and species of biological interest or conservation concern in the vicinity of the site;
  • A Phase 1 habitat survey of the site; and
  • A protected species scoping survey of the site.

Phase 1 habitat survey

Phase 1 habitat survey is a standardised system which allows rapid survey, classification and mapping of broad UK habitat types.  An adapted version of the Phase 1 survey methodology is used by ecological consultants to provide baseline information essential to the early stages of the project development and planning process.

The survey identifies and maps the extent of Phase 1 habitat categories and notes particular features of nature conservation interest.  The Phase 1 survey map provides an at-a-glance overview of habitats and features.  Additional information on particular features of interest is provided in accompanying ‘Target Notes’.

Protected species scoping survey

Conducted alongside and as an ‘extension’ to the Phase 1 habitat survey, the protected species scoping survey provides an initial assessment of the potential for the habitats and features within the site to support European or UK protected species.  This includes consideration of species such as bats, badgers, dormouse, otter, water vole and great crested newt.

The value of a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal

The ecological appraisal provides vital early information on the extent of likely ecological constraints and opportunities associated with a site.  This information can be invaluable in determining whether or not to progress with the purchase or development of a site.

Once the decision to progress a development has been taken, the Preliminary Ecological Appraisal is an essential component in ensuring ecological considerations are effectively integrated into the early design and master-planning processes, saving time and money and helping to ensure successful planning outcomes.

The report we produce provides an overview of the findings, identifies areas of high ecological interest – allowing early integration of ecological design principles into emerging site proposals – and sets out the scope of any further survey work which may be required to inform the planning process.

DGL Environment draw on many years’ expertise in Phase 1 habitat surveys and protected species surveys to deliver expert habitat assessments and clear, concise habitat descriptions within our reports. Our ecological survey experience draws on a broad portfolio of project experience including individual planning applications, landscape-scale  habitat assessments, conservation management plans, renewable energy projects and large-scale mixed-use developments.

Whatever your requirement, contact us today to get your project off to the right start…