Preliminary Ecological Appraisals and Ecological Assessments

EMEC Ecology has undertaken Preliminary Ecological Appraisals (PEA), which typically comprise a desk study and an extended Phase-1 habitat survey; and also full Ecological Impact Assessments (EcIAs) throughout the East Midlands and beyond. This has included Preliminary Ecological Appraisals at sites in Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Warwickshire and Lincolnshire.

A Preliminary Ecological Appraisal is typically the first stage in evaluating a site's ecological value. Where protected species are recorded, or the potential presence of protected species is identified, recommendations are made for mitigation and further survey requirements are usually made.

Desk Study / Consultation

In order to gain a greater level of information on the species and habitats present in the surrounding area, a desk study or consultation is normally undertaken. This involves EMEC Ecology consulting with local record holders (local record centre, wildlife trusts, local natural history groups) to obtain any existing records of protected and / or notable species and designated nature conservation sites, including Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Local Wildlife Sites (LWS). This information can then be used to evaluate the likelihood of protected species being present, or not present, within the site itself.

Extended Phase-1 Habitat Survey

This type of survey follows the standard JNCC methodology and involves systematically walking over a site and classifying each parcel of land on the basis of vegetation into one of approximately 90 habitats. Notes are made on the structure and composition of habitats and a botanical species list is also recorded. Target notes are used to record any habitats or features of particular interest and any sightings, signs or evidence of protected or notable faunal species or any potential habitat for such species. This type of survey and subsequent report is normally suitable for small-scale housing developments and similar schemes.

Ecological Impact Assessment

Ecological Impact Assessment (EcIA) is the assessment of the effect of a proposed action on plants and animals and the environments in which they occur. Increasingly, this is a prerequisite for larger developments, either independently or as part of a wider Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) or Environmental Statement (ES).

An EcIA should include an assessment of the effect of the proposed works, once all mitigation, compensation and enhancement measures are taken into account. Therefore, as part of EcIAs, EMEC Ecology will often design (and if required, implement) a wide range of mitigation and habitat creation / enhancement measures to ensure the ecological impact of the development is not considered significant. EMEC Ecology can produce 'stand alone' Ecological Impact Assessment reports or produce the Ecology Chapter for an ES or EIA to a specified format. An EcIA will normally include a desk study and an extended Phase-1 habitat survey (as detailed above).

If you require a quotation for a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal please send an email to us at including any site plans that you have available (or details and photographs of the site if applicable) with details of the proposed works, along with your contact details. Should you wish to contact us at the office please call 0115 964 4828.