Ecological Scoping

Our Ecological Scoping service is a basic ecological survey commissioned by clients prior to purchasing a site, which will help you discover in a timely manner whether there are any potential ecology constraints associated with the land. If you are considering buying a piece of land this service will advise whether there are any ecological considerations to take into account on the site. The survey may not affect your decision to purchase, but it could mean you have to alter your plans to take such factors into account.

What is ecological scoping?

Ecological Scoping is the most basic ecological survey, often commissioned before purchasing a site and designed to deliver a clear picture of any potential ecology-led constraints that might affect your works. 

Scoping is a process that determines the content and extent of your environmental responsibilities, however you intend to develop the site. It helps you identify the information you'll need to submit to the authorities. Note this does not constitute a full preliminary ecological appraisal which is aimed at satisfying planning requirements.

The scoping process helps you clarify key issues and promotes dialogue with consultees and other stakeholders about vital ecological issues, making sure everyone involved is aware of the likely issues and helping you pin down any extra costs.

Why consider scoping?

Scoping acts as an early warning system. It focuses on the likely impacts on a site's biodiversity, inter-relationships and sensitivities. It also identifies any seasonally dependent surveys nice and early, so you can plan them into your work schedule. It's important because many a project has run into serious issues thanks to not getting an expert scoping opinion early on. 

If you don't arrange formal ecological scoping, the responsibility falls on you to identify the ecological impact of developing a piece of land. You also have to identify the extra investigations that are required by law. Most people hand the task over to the experts, people who are qualified to make sure it's all done properly.

What does it involve?

Scoping involves a detailed walkover of your site, followed by a concise report of the field work. The report identifies valuable plants, habitats and protected species recorded, providing a vital snapshot to help you build a basic understanding of the site's ecology. Scoping surveys address the following questions:

  • Is any of the site already designated for nature conservation?

  • Does the proposal affect areas likely to be designated in future, for example Site of Special Scientific Interest?

  • Are there any existing policies around habitat protection, creation or restoration in the area?

Do you need a more detailed survey?

An ecological scoping survey isn't suitable for planning, nor does it inform mitigation design. It's a broad and relatively low cost way to support good decision making when considering a site. If you need a more detailed, robust survey we would recommend a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal.

Book Ecological Scoping or ask questions

These surveys can be carried out at any time of year. If you'd like to book an Ecological Scoping report or ask us a question, call us on 07487 700305 or.