Habitat and Vegetation Surveys and Monitoring
Habitat and vegetation surveys may be required for a range of projects from planning applications to conservation management and for a range of sites both urban and rural. Many developments will require an Extended Phase 1 Habitat survey, perhaps as a result of completing the NI Biodiversity Checklist to establish the ecological features present. This includes conducting data searches for ecological records within the surrounding area to establish a baseline and identify ecological constraints.
We work closely with our clients and the statutory agencies to achieve successful outcomes while ensuring projects stay within the law and wildlife is protected. We also provide advice along the way to enable efficient project planning incorporating the requirements of environmental legislation and can suggest pragmatic and practical design solutions and mitigation measures.
Our ecological consultants are experienced in all aspects of habitat and vegetation surveying and monitoring methods to ensure compliance with planning requirements, to meet research needs, and to inform impact assessments, and conservation management. We conduct a range of habitat and vegetation surveys following the best practice guidelines established by the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) and in accordance with Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) specific habitat survey requirements.
We conduct Extended Phase 1 Habitat Surveys using the JNCC Handbook for Phase 1 Habitat Survey – A technique for environmental audit (JNCC, 2010) and Best Practice Guidance for Habitat Survey and Mapping (Smith et al, 2011). We also conduct more detailed botanical surveys using the JNCC National Vegetation Classification (NVC) system (Rodwell, 2006). NIEA also have specific policies relating to renewable energy wind power development proposals on active peatland.