Ecology Associates is proud of their broad range of capabilities and the manner with which we provide our services to our clients.

 

We undertake surveys across the UK, assessing the potential for habitats on site to support badgers and, where necessary, identifying and classifying setts.  We do not simply supply our clients with a report, we provide advice throughout the process, flagging any potential ecological issue early to avoid lengthy and often expense delays. 

  

We can provide a range of post survey services for our clients including ECoW provision and licensing / mitigation advice. 

Some of the surveys below are limited by seasonal constraints so please get in touch at the earliest opportunity to avoid potential delays to your project.

 

Habitat Surveys:

  • Ecology scoping assessment
  • Preliminary Ecological Appraisal / Phase 1 Habitat Survey
  • National Vegetation Classification (NVC)

Species Surveys:

  • Invasive species
  • Bat
  • Great Crested Newt (GCN) 
  • Reptile
  • Water Vole
  • Otter
  • Badger
  • Hazel Dormouse
  • Nesting birds
  • Schedule 1 Birds

Bat Surveys

 

In the UK, all bat species and their roosts are fully protected, making it illegal to: Deliberately capture, injure or kill bats or recklessly disturb bats, to intentionally or recklessly damage, destroy or obstruct access to a breeding or resting site.  It is also illegal to possess, control, transport, sell or exchange any bats (or parts thereof) unless acquired legally.

 

Our highly experienced team will assess whether any trees, buildings or bridges harbour potential for bat roosts by conducting a Preliminary Roost Assessment and to assess the sites use by bats fro frogaing and commuting.  This will determine if further surveys are required and what the next steps may be.  All our surveys follow the Bat Conservation Trust Guidelines (Colins, 2016)

 

Bat Surveys may include:

  • Preliminary Roost Assessments – Ground level tree assessments along with internal and external building assessments
  • Aerial tree inspections
  • Emergence/Re-entry surveys
  • Hibernation Surveys
  • Transect and static surveys
  • Thermal imaging surveys

 

Infrared and Thermal Imaging

 

In recent years, ecology surveying techniques have changed as they have incorporated several innovative technological advances, including the use of thermography and infrared (IR) techniques.  These methods aid a more accurate and efficient collection of data for a variety of work areas such as; bat surveys, tree inspections, bird surveys and Ecological Clerk of Works (ECoW). 

 

Traditional nocturnal bat surveys without IR or thermal imaging regularly lead to precautionary bat roosts being identified due to low light levels, especially with regard to tree surveys.  This creates a large number of trees which needed further surveys and / or licensing.  In these situations, a survey with either IR or thermal imaging capabilities allows bats to be more accurately pinpointed leading to more accurate roost confirmation and fewer precautionary roosts need licencing.

 

During ECoW works, thermal imaging again provides a more robust and efficient process for our clients.  With specific applications for mammals, birds, bats and many other species, thermal imaging can play a huge role in improving 'visibility' of species. 

Great Crested Newt (GCN) Surveys

 

Our Ecologists hold the necessary experience and licences to survey for this species. GCN rely on both good terrestrial habitat and waterbodies and suitable habitats located up to 500m (250m for specific works) from waterbodies can be utilised by GCN. Our licensed Ecologists are able to conduct surveys across the UK.

 

The surveys we offer include:

  • Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) Surveys 
  • Presence / likely absence and population class assessment surveys (Bottle trapping, egg search, torching and netting
  • Environmental DNA (eDNA) Sampling
  • Reporting and advice on mitigation recommendations

Reptile Surveys

 

There are six native species of reptile in the UK, occupying a range of habitats, including (but not limited to): grassland, scrub, heathland and wetlands.  They are generally less commonly found in intensively managed locations. 

 

Types of surveys available include:

  • Habitat suitability Index Surveys
  • Presence/Likely Absence Surveys
  • Population Surveys

Our experience means we can advise our clients on suitable mitigation options including identification of suitable receptor sites if needed.  We are also able to provdie ECoW servces for this species separately or as part of ECoW services for other species on site. 

 

Badger Surveys

 

Badgers and their setts are protected by The Protection of Badgers Act 1992 and Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 Schedule 6.  We have extensive experience of surveying for badgers including as part of Phase One Habitat surveys or ecological walkover / scoping surveys and as part of bait marking surveys.  We are also experienced as ECoWs on sites where badger setts are present and precautionary methods need to be implemented / upkept.