Species Surveys in Devon & Cornwall | Plan for Ecology
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Species Surveys

Species Surveys in Cornwall, Devon & Somerset

Plan for Ecology undertake a wide range of species surveys to inform planning applications and conservation management plans.

The local planning authority must consider potential impacts of development on protected species.  Detailed species surveys may be required to determine the importance of a site for a particular species, and to identify potential impacts of the proposed development scheme on that species.

Once planning permission has been granted, site works may need to be carried out under the guidance of an ecologist; this ensures compliance with relevant wildlife legislation and that any planning conditions are met.

Plan for Ecology routinely act as ‘an ecological clerk of works’ and acquire European Protected Species (EPS) mitigation licences and Bat Low Impact Class Licences (BLICL) on behalf of our clients.

Bat Surveys in Cornwall, Devon & Somerset

 

Plan for Ecology’s experienced and licensed ecologists, routinely undertake detailed bat surveys in Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and throughout the UK. Bats are European Protected Species (EPS) protected under European and National law. This legislation makes it an offence to capture, kill, injure or disturb individual animals, or disturb/ damage their roost sites.

Works with potential to affect bats may need to be informed by detailed surveys.  For example, works to buildings, both modern and old, may need to be informed by detailed bat surveys, as may wind turbine installation and the loss of significant areas of foraging habitat.  Where a development will affect bats and/or their roost sites a Natural England (NE) EPS licence or Bat Low Impact Class Licence (BLICL) may be required to permit works. Plan for Ecology regularly prepares, and successfully obtains, mitigation licences on behalf of our clients.

European Protected Species (EPS) Surveys

 

Plan for Ecology routinely undertake detailed bat surveys, dormouse surveys, otter surveys and great crested newt surveys throughout the UK. These species/ species groups are European Protected Species (EPS) protected under European and National law. This legislation makes it an offence to capture, kill, injure or disturb individual animals, or disturb/ damage their resting and breeding sites.

Works with potential to affect a European Protected Species may need to be informed by detailed species surveys.  For example, the clearance of woodland/ scrub, or hedgerow removal, may need to be informed by a detailed dormouse survey.  Works to buildings, both modern and old, may need to be informed by detailed bat surveys, as may wind turbine installation and the loss of significant areas of foraging habitat.  Where a development will affect a European Protected Species and/or their place/s of rest a Natural England (NE) EPS licence may be required to permit works. Plan for Ecology routinely prepares, and successfully obtains, EPS mitigation licences on behalf of our clients.

Badger Surveys

 

Plan for Ecology routinely undertake detailed badger surveys in Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and throughout the UK. Badgers are protected against capture, killing, injury and disturbance/ damage to their resting/ breeding places (setts) under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992.  Works with potential to affect badgers must be informed by a detailed badger survey.  Where works have potential to disturb badger, a Natural England (NE) licence may be required prior to commencement of site works.

Kim Jelbert (Plan for Ecology Consultant Ecologist) has extensive badger survey and mitigation experience. Kim’s portfolio includes bait marking, sett closure and disturbance, preparation of method statements and design and construction of artificial badger setts. Kim routinely holds project specific NE licences to disturb badgers.

Reptile Surveys

 

Plan for Ecology routinely undertake reptile surveys in Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and throughout the UK. In Britain the four commonly occurring species of reptile (common lizard, slow worm, grass snake and adder) are protected against intentional killing or injuring.  The sand lizard and smooth snake have a very restricted range and are afforded additional protection.  Works with potential to affect reptiles such as loss of suitable habitat including hedgerow, heathland, coarse grassland and derelict urban sites may need to be informed by a detailed reptile survey and/or carried out under ecological watching brief.

Kim Jelbert’s (Plan for Ecology Consultant Ecologist) portfolio includes survey of ‘exceptional reptile sites’, preparation of method statements, reptile translocation, ecological watching briefs and habitat creation.

Bird Surveys

 

Plan for Ecology routinely carry out a wide range of bird surveys in Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and throughout the UK.  All wild birds (while nesting), their eggs and their nests (while in use) are protected. Some wild bird species are also afforded additional protection under European and National law.  Works with potential to affect birds (i.e. the installation of wind turbines or the construction of housing and the associated loss of nesting, foraging and roosting habitat) may need to be informed by detailed bird surveys.

Plan for Ecology can provide highly experienced bird surveyors to collate data to inform a variety of development projects including wind and solar PV farms, housing schemes and larger infrastructure projects. Kim Jelbert (Plan for Ecology Consultant Ecologist) holds a Natural England barn owl licence.

Invertebrate Surveys

 

Plan for Ecology routinely undertake a wide range of invertebrate surveys to inform planning applications and conservation management plans.  We also  prepare mitigation method statements to minimise impact on invertebrate species during construction and habitat management activities.

Many invertebrate species are listed as UK Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) and/ or County BAP priority species. This means that they are considered to be National and County priorities for conservation, respectively; other species receive a higher level of legal protection under EU & UK legislation. Impact on these species must be given due consideration during the planning application process.

Invasive Plant Surveys

 

Plan for Ecology routinely undertake invasive plant surveys in Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and throughout the UK. There are 56 plant species listed on Schedule 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended). This legislation makes it an offence to cause these species to spread to the wild.

Plan for Ecology can prepare method statements and management plans for the control and eradication of invasive plants. Kim Jelbert (Plan for Ecology Consultant Ecologist) recently published a paper in the academic journal ‘Ecology and Evolution’: Jelbert et al., (2015) Invasiveness of plants is predicted by size and fecundity in the native range. doi: 10.1002/ece3.1432.