Every year at the end of summer we receive phone calls from people who need to carry out ecological surveys for their development but have left it too late in the season and have to wait until the next spring.
NOW is the time of year that you need to look ahead and see what needs to be done to avoid possible delays! We are here to help and advise you.
As you can see from our survey calendar above, there are plenty of types of survey we can get underway for you at this time of year. These include:
- Phase 1 habitat surveys
- Preliminary Ecological Appraisals
- Bat scoping surveys
- Ground level tree surveys (for bats)
- Badger and otter surveys
Preliminary Ecological Appraisals and bat scoping surveys completed now will mean that, should you need further survey during the summer, you can get these booked in straight away and avoid unnecessary delay.
Why is the survey season so short?
Many of these surveys are limited as to when they can be done. This is usually because our wildlife is subject to the changes in our climate. For example:
Bats hibernate from October to April and they breed in the period May to August and most surveys for bats need to be carried out April to October, when they are active.
Bats move location throughout the year, and have at least one summer roost. To gain reliable information about bat activity on your site, we need to observe and record bats using the building or area when they are active or hibernating (depending on conditions at the site).
Bats are small mammals, weighing only a few grams (a common pipistrelle weighs less than a 10p coin) and are susceptible to the cold, as are their insect prey. For bat surveys to be viable, they need to be carried out under the right conditions, during the summer months.
Great crested newts are actually very terrestrial animals, spending most of the year on land. They use old log piles for shelter and hunt prey through the grass. They only come to ponds to breed. This is in spring and early summer. The most reliable way of surveying for the presence of great crested newts is to find them when they come to these ponds. Therefore the survey period is limited from April through to the end of June.
Remember that when further survey is required, the surveys may need to be spaced apart. For example, bat surveys of a building each need to be spaced at least 2 weeks apart. If you have a European Protected Species on site (e.g. bats, dormice, otters, great crested newts) then you will need to have sufficient survey work carried out in order to apply for a licence to carry out the works.