What causes unnecessary delays?
Seasonal constraints: The survey season varies for the different protected species we have in the UK. For bats, it peaks between May and September, for great crested newts there is only a small window from April to the end of June. Being aware of when surveys can be carried out for each species helps, but you don’t need to be an expert. Use our handy survey calendar (download here) to help you.
Length of surveys: Often people underestimate how long ecological surveys can take. The surveys themselves may not take long, but they may need to be spread out across a few weeks or even months. Start too late and you may find that you have to wait out the winter for surveys to continue in the spring of the following year. For example, bat activity surveys need to happen throughout the whole of the bat active season (a minimum of Spring, Summer and Autumn visits to site). Dormouse surveys, if required, will also need to be undertaken over a few months (6 or more) for a full survey.
Remember that ecology surveys should be requested prior to planning applications being validated.
How can unnecessary delays be avoided?
Our #1 tip is this: get your ecologist on board early on in the process. As soon as you can! We can carry out a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA)* Survey at any time of year. Ask your ecologist for the survey and talk over the plans for the site with them. Surveys for protected species, if needed can then start as soon as possible. If you ask the ecologist to carry out the PEA during the winter months, or very early in spring, then all the surveys can be completed in the following season (very large sites or big infrastructure projects will take longer).
As well as PEA surveys of land, we can also undertake Preliminary Roost Inspections (often called bat and nesting bird surveys by Planners) at any time of the year.
What do I need to do now?
The first thing is to get in touch and discuss your project with us. We can arrange to come and visit the site and assess it for the potential/presence of protected species. You could download our survey and mitigation calendar (click here) for a guide as to what time of year different surveys and mitigation can take place.
The team at Acorn Ecology have worked on a wide variety of projects and can offer you advice on what your site requirements will be. Don’t leave it too late. Avoid unnecessary delays by calling us today!
For more information about Acorn Ecology services, take a look at our website.
* A PEA Survey is often called a Phase 1, wildlife or habitat survey by the planning office requesting it.
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