Terrestrial Invertebrate Surveys

EMEC Ecology has experience of undertaking a broad and varied range of terrestrial invertebrate surveys for several clients that include other ecological consultancies, large multi-national companies, local councils and Natural England. A number of our projects have included reserves managed by the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust. EMEC invertebrate ecologists offer a broad range of services to meet your needs, examples of which are:

  • Single site, single visit surveys to determine whether a site has the potential to support invertebrate populations of significance.
  • Single site, multiple visit surveys to determine the species composition of a given site. Recent survey work has involved regular surveying of a brownfield site prior to redevelopment, with recommendations made for sympathetic redevelopment to mitigate loss of favourable invertebrate habitat.
  • Common Standards Monitoring (CSM) for designated sites including Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Special Areas of Conservation (SAC). Recent work for Natural England has included the assessment of ancient woodlands for their assemblages of saproxylic fauna, a season's fieldwork on an acid mire in the north of England to help formulate an action plan for its maintenance and enhancement as an area for invertebrates, and several smaller studies on the prevalence of invertebrate scrub edge communities throughout the United Kingdom.
  • Individual species identification of key taxonomic groups.
  • Invertebrate surveys for Wildlife Trusts to measure impacts of land management on the invertebrate fauna of sites, and to provide useful and realistic management recommendations for the future.

EMEC invertebrate ecologists carry out all their survey work to best practice following methods developed and recommended by Natural England.

Methods for surveying and sampling terrestrial invertebrates include:

  • Direct observation. Active and visible species such as butterflies, dragonflies and bumblebees may be observed and identified in the field during a walk-over of the site.
  • Suction sampling where ground material including invertebrates are 'hoovered' into a collecting bag for later identification.
  • Hand searching. A search of important invertebrate habitats, including dead wood, bare ground, beneath stones and discarded objects, and common invertebrate host-plants.
  • Sweep-netting of flying insects and herbaceous vegetation.
  • Beating of woody vegetation. Dislodged invertebrates are caught on a large fabric tray and quickly collected.
  • Trapping. A variety of traps can be used, including pitfall, malaise, flight intercept, sticky and light traps. Bait traps can be used for butterflies and other insects attracted to fruits and sugar.
  • Sieving of leaf litter.
  • Extraction of insects from leaf litter using Kempson extractors or water funnels.

The samples are then preserved and identified in the laboratory following completion of the survey work. Most identification is possible in-house by our own invertebrate specialists but, as part of the Association of Wildlife Trusts Consultancies (AWTC), EMEC Ecology has access to the collective knowledge of a large group of experienced invertebrate surveyors who have expertise in different taxonomic groups who can assist where necessary.

Survey reports and mitigation plans are required for development projects that could affect protected species, as part of obtaining planning permission or a mitigation licence. Surveys need to show whether protected species are present in the area or nearby, and how they use the site. Mitigation plans show how you'll avoid, reduce or manage any negative effects to protected species.

Following the invertebrate survey results, specific advice suitable for the proposed works and the species found can be provided. This may include advice on suitable planting schemes in order to encourage specific species, or specific management regimes and timings of the work to promote diversity.

Our invertebrate surveyors are able to undertake terrestrial invertebrate surveys throughout Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire and further afield including the whole of the East Midlands and throughout the United Kingdom.

If you require a terrestrial invertebrate survey, then the invertebrate ecologists at EMEC Ecology are here to meet your needs in a cost effective and timely manner. Please get in contact via mail@emec-ecology.co.uk or 0115 964 4828 to discuss your needs.