We routinely undertake the following surveys:
Phase 1 Habitat Surveys, Ecological Impact Assessment (EcIA), Preliminary Ecological Appraisals (PEA), Ecological Scoping Surveys, Walkover Surveys
We determine the type of survey required on a case-by-case basis. Where possible Plan for Ecology also incorporates detailed badger and invasive plant surveys. This helps to minimise the overall cost.
Plan for Ecology can then produce the following reports: Phase 1 Habitat survey information in an Ecological Impact Assessment (EcIA), Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA), Ecology Chapter as part of a formal Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
The type of report depends on the scale of the proposed development.
Ecological Impact Assessment (EcIA)
Plan for Ecology routinely prepare Ecological Impact Assessment (EcIA) and Ecology Chapters as part of Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) for developments in Cornwall and across the UK.
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is required for developments that meet the criteria set out in the European Union Directives 85/337/EEC and 97/11/EC. The EIA includes an Ecology Chapter. Smaller developments, which do not require a formal EIA, frequently require an Ecological Impact Assessment or Preliminary Ecological Appraisal.
Preliminary Ecological Appraisals (PEA)
Preliminary Ecological Appraisals (PEA) usually comprise a desk study, which is a search of all ecological records in the vicinity of the development site (provided by the local environmental records centre), and an extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey. A report will be produced, which assesses the ecological value of the habitats present and the potential impacts of the proposed development, as well as highlighting opportunities for biodiversity gains. The report will outline any requirement for further surveys and can help to inform mitigation strategies.
Phase 1 Habitat surveys
This is typically the first stage of assessing the ecological value of a site and identifying potential ecological constraints. The Phase 1 Habitat Survey identifies the habitats present and their associated plant species, assesses the potential of the site to support protected species and identifies any requirement for more detailed habitat (National Vegetation Classification, NVC and Hedgerow Assessments) and species surveys (provided by Plan for Ecology). We offer this service across Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and across the UK.
National Vegetation Classification (NVC) surveys
The National Vegetation Classification (NVC) is a standardised system for classifying and describing plant communities within the UK. NVC surveys are more detailed botanical surveys than Phase 1 Habitat surveys, which involve the use of quadrats to collect detailed information on the plant species present, their abundance and the botanical structure of the site.
NVC surveys may be required for large-scale developments and those that require an Environmental Impact Assessment, or for developments within or close to sensitive habitats, such as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs).
Ecological Risk Assessments
Plan for Ecology also undertake Ecological Risk Assessments, Ecological Scoping Surveys and Walkover Surveys throughout Cornwall to identify potential ecological constraints. These assessments are all variations of an extended Phase 1 Habitat survey.