The extended Phase 1 habitat survey provides a map of the habitats present on the site and a description of each habitat, including a plant species list. Each habitat is also assessed for its potential to support protected and priority species. Species of fauna observed during the survey are also recorded.
Phase 1 habitat surveys can be conducted all year round; however, the optimum time for undertaking the survey would be between April and September. If the survey is undertaken outside this period, it is quite likely that a follow-up botanical survey will be required.
Although it is the most widely used in Britain, the Phase 1 habitat classification system is not the only classification system that can be used for the PEA. An alternative is the Integrated Habitat Surveys (IHS) system developed by Somerset Environmental Records Centre. In Ireland, the classification system developed by Fossit (A Guide to Habitats in Ireland (Fossitt, 2000)) should be used.