Extended Phase 1 habitat survey

Between us we have many years’ experience of habitat surveys, and the newly designated extended Phase 1 habitat survey is the main element of a preliminary ecological appraisal (PEA). Our surveyors are all CIEEM members and all our ecological consultants meet the standards required for Phase 1 surveys and PEAs, so you can be confident that our work will meet the expectations of the planning authority.

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What is an extended Phase 1 habitat survey?

It is typically a core element of a preliminary ecological appraisal (PEA) and is usually carried out during the planning stage of a development project. It then highlights any potential ecological constraints to your proposal, as well as identifying opportunities for ecological enhancement. It can also be used to inform Biodiversity Net Gain assessments.

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. Alternatives are the Integrated Habitat System (IHS) developed by Somerset Environmental Records Centre and the similar but more comprehensive UKHab classification system. In Ireland, the classification system developed by Fossitt (A Guide to Habitats in Ireland, Fossitt, 2000) should be used.

When can they take place?

Extended 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, a follow-up botanical survey may be required.

About our extended Phase 1 habitat survey services

The extended Phase 1 habitat survey is usually the first time we visit a site, and, in addition, we often undertake an ecological desk study. This study will involve us obtaining local biological records and collecting data from other sources and is a second core element of the preliminary ecological appraisal.

During the extended Phase 1 habitat survey, we will record a map of the habitats present on the site and a description of each habitat, including a plant species list. Each habitat will be assessed for its potential to support protected and priority species. Species of fauna observed during the survey are also recorded.

The survey will allow our specialists to make recommendations on how to avoid or mitigate ecological impact on important ecological features such as designated sites, priority habitats, and protected and priority species. It will also highlight the need for additional surveys which may be needed for instance, protected species surveys – and enable any requirements for Biodiversity Net Gain to be calculated.

The presence of such important ecological features on a proposed development site can have critical implications because of legal and planning policy protections and the consideration that must be given to them in the planning process.

What our survey involves

  • Site visit to map habitats present
  • Record of plant species present (and abundance)
  • Assessment of the potential of the site for protected and priority species
  • Record of any evidence of protected and priority species
  • Advice on initial ecological issues highlighted and requirements
  • Guidance on measures to avoid and mitigate ecological impact.

Arrange a phase 1 habitat survey with us

For more information or to arrange an extended Phase 1 habitat survey, speak to one of our environmental consultants.

Arrange a Phase 1 habitat survey today

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