Middlewood Ecology offer a wide range of ecological services, including habitat, protected species and invasive species surveys. In addition, we also provide a variety of detailed reports, both to accompany site surveys, as well as standalone technical reports.
Scoping surveys are undertaken to establish the potential for protected and notable species, habitats or invasive species within a site. Often required as part of due diligence or early screening processes for a site, scoping surveys highlight any likely ecological constraint to a proposed development and provide recommendations of further ecological survey requirements.
The Phase 1 habitat classification and associated field survey technique provides a relatively rapid system to record semi-natural vegetation and other wildlife habitats. Each habitat type/feature is defined by way of a brief description and is allocated a specific name, an alpha-numeric code, and unique mapping colour. The system has been widely used and continues to act as the standard phase 1 technique for habitat survey across the UK.
The Extended Phase 1 Habitat survey utilises the same approach as above; however, this survey also includes the likelihood for the presence (or likely absence) of protected and notable species, based upon the habitats present and review of local ecological records.
Following completion of the Phase 1 or Extended Phase 1 Habitat survey, a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA) will be produced. This will detail the habitat features present on site, the sites suitability to support protected and notable species and the requirement for further survey effort.
PROTECTED SPECIES SURVEYS
Several species in the UK are afforded protection under UK Legislation. These species are a material consideration for any planning application and therefore require further survey effort.
Middlewood Ecology is experienced in surveying for a number of protected and notable species. This includes the following:
Badger - presence/absence surveys, territory mapping (or bait marking), and reverse bait marking studies;
Great crested newt (and other amphibians) - presence/absence surveys, population size class assessment, terrestrial surveys;
Bats - bat roost potential assessment, internal/external inspections, emergence/re-entry surveys, and activity surveys;
Otter - presence/absence surveys;
Water vole - presence/absence surveys, population assessments;
White-clawed crayfish - presence/absence surveys, population assessment;
Reptiles - presence/absence surveys, population assessments.
In addition, Middlewood Ecology has experience in undertaking presence/absence surveys for wildcat, red deer, red squirrel and pine martin.
Middlewood Ecology holds survey licences for a number of protected species, including badger (class), great crested newt (class 2), white-clawed crayfish (class) and bat (class 1).
When protected species are identified within a site, it is often a requirement for mitigation measures to be put in place to reduce any adverse impacts resulting from a development or change in land use.
Middlewood Ecology has experience in the design and implementation of a wide range of mitigation measures, including:
Creation of artificial badger setts;
Closure of existing badger setts;
Great crested newt translocation;
Receptor site creation;
Installation of amphibian fencing;
Reasonable Avoidance Measures.
Middlewood Ecology has been the Named Ecologist on several European Protected Species Licences for Great Crested Newt and has also been the Named Ecologist on numerous development licences for badger.
Additionally, Middlewood Ecology now hold a Class Licence for badgers, meaning that they can obtain development licences for badgers in a quicker and more cost effective way.
Site supervision can be required to ensure protected or notable species or habitats present on site are not adversely impacted upon as a result of any site works.
Middlewood Ecology can offer site supervision in the form of an Ecological Clerk of Works (ECoW). An ECoW may be required during the construction of receptor sites, implementation of mitigation measures, vegetation removal, site clearance or removal of protected species.
In addition to the reports produced for each protected species surveys undertaken, Middlewood Ecology is experienced in producing specialist standalone reports. These can be required to discharge planning conditions, support a planning application or to fit any specific need. These include:
Ecological Impact Assessments;
Precautionary Working Method Statements;