Development works can negatively impact upon species and their habitats, and when developments result in the destruction of wildlife habitat, planning conditions often require a new area of habitat to be created, particularly if protected species are affected. Providing ecological impact mitigation advice is what our teams do every day.
Practical services for ecological impact mitigation services
We carry out a range of practical services which help mitigate the impact that development works can have on flora and fauna. As well as helping in trapping and translocation, we create areas that provide habitat for a wide range of scarce and protected mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and scarce plants.
Amphibians and reptiles
Britain has six reptile species and seven native amphibian species including the great crested newt – one of Britain’s most protected species. We help capture and translocate both reptiles and amphibians and have created receptor sites including ponds, hibernacula and vegetation to provide suitable ground cover.
Badgers are widespread throughout the UK but are protected under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992. We design and build artificial setts to provide alternative habitat before closing their setts where they could be harmed by development works.
There are 18 species of bat in the UK, all of which are protected, resulting in strict licensing procedures for works on some development sites. We help mitigate the impact on bats by providing bat boxes and roosts in buildings.
Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act it is an offence to intentionally kill, injure or take any species of wild bird, and to take, damage or destroy their nests or eggs. We help enhance areas of the landscape by planting trees and hedges, as well as creating wetland for wading birds.
Dormice and their habitats are fully protected by the Habitats Regulations 2010 with some additional protection from the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. We help to capture dormice from development sites, provide new habitat for them and install dormice bridges.
We install fish passes and eel crawling gutters to aid migration, and carry out fish rescues. Thomson Ecology offers a range of freshwater and marine services, including fish surveys and other fish-related activities, as well as conducting invertebrate surveys followed by laboratory analysis and ID.
There are over 400 invertebrate species which are UK Biodiversity Action Plan priority species, plus others that are identified as priorities for action at a local level. Whilst not all of these are protected, it is good practice to consider their protection on development sites.
Otters and their holts are fully protected, and in the UK the otter is listed as a priority species.
We help enhance areas of habitat for otters by creating and restoring wetland habitat, enhancing waterway habitats, and also installing otter fencing to help protect otters from development works.
We protect scarce plants on development sites, including translocating them to other areas as well as creating temporary nurseries. We also control invasive species including Japanese knotweed, giant hogweed and bamboo.
Our in-house arboriculture team provides specialist tree consultancy and tree management services across the UK, with Thomson Habitats providing services including tree lopping, felling, planting and woodland management.
We provide a bespoke service for our clients’ arboricultural needs, delivering robust results in line with industry standards and best practice guidelines.
If water voles are present on a development site, planning permission could be refused unless it can be demonstrated that they will be protected during the development works, and that disturbance is kept to a minimum. We create and enhance water courses, and manage vegetation including planting marginal areas.