Preliminary Ecological Appraisal/ Phase 1 Habitat Survey

Phase 1 Habitat Handbook

A Preliminary Ecological Appraisal is one step up from our most basic Ecological Scoping Survey. It forms the initial stage for a planning application and identifies whether there are any significant habitats or protected species constraints that exist on your site.

What is a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal?

Sometimes known as an Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey, a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal is the standard initial survey we undertake for our clients, delivering a greater level of detail than simple Ecological Scoping. This survey provides a map of habitats on-site, plus linked target notes to show if the habitat supports, or is likely to support, protected or notable species.

We complete a detailed desk study and site survey, taking essential data from the local biological records office and local recording groups like bat groups. We also use respected online sources of information like MAGIC and local authority websites.

Our walkover/site survey involves recording every habitat on the site, noting features of particular interest and assessing any hedgerows present, under the 1997 Hedgerows Regulations. We create a list of the plant species on the site and look for the presence of, or potential for important and protected species, including badgers, reptiles, water voles, bats, newts and hazel dormice.

We also check whether the site is potentially suitable for protected and important species, and recommend any extra surveys you may need such as a bat survey in order to comply with local and national planning guidelines.

What does our report include?

Preliminary Ecological Appraisal reports evaluate the nature conservation value of a site, make an informed impact assessment, recommend mitigation, compensation and enhancement where necessary and carry out GIS Mapping of habitats (Phase 1 Habitat Map), plus photos of ecological features.

A Preliminary Ecological Appraisal report provides the following information:

  • Details about the habitats present on site

  • The species and potential species found on the site

  • The value and significance of the habitats and species on the site

  • The potential impact of development on those species and habitats

  • Any legal and planning policy issues

Expert recommendations for extra surveys, mitigation, compensation and enhancement

Supporting quality planning and project management

Our preliminary ecological appraisal helps organisations achieve land purchase and planning applications faster and more smoothly. We recommend you arrange yours at the earliest stage to achieve reasonable application timelines and be able to incorporate our findings into your design. 

Book a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal

These assessments can be carried out at any time of year. If you'd like to book a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal or ask questions, call us on 07487 700305 or: