Ecological Surveys

When do I need an Ecological Survey?

Ecological surveys and monitoring activities are required for many different types of project, from planning applications to research and conservation management. These surveys are often required to accompany planning applications as a result of an NI Biodiversity Checklist assessment.

The type of project and the specific site conditions will ultimately determine the type of surveys that are required, the methods used and the time involved. Many ecological surveys need to be conducted at specific times of the year, reflecting the seasonal variation in the activity of target species or the composition of target habitats.

The process: How long will it take?

The ecological survey and assessment process is iterative, i.e. each stage informs the next. For many projects, the first step is to have a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA) or an Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey carried out.  This will identify where there is a need for further (Phase 2) more detailed surveys for particular species or habitats. This is an important point to remember as the need for further surveys can not only add to the costs but can also result in delays, particularly where surveys for certain species or habitats are limited to particular times of the year.

If a PEA or an Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey is all that is required (i.e. if these do not identify the need for further surveys) the final report is usually available in approximately 4 weeks from our appointment. However, this may vary at different times of the year depending upon how busy we are, how big the site is and the types and range of habitats and species on site.

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