Frequently Asked Questions

We are often asked questions about ecology and many are repeated on a frequent basis. Below are some of our common questions and answers so please do take a look and click on the questions to see our answers. We do however prefer speaking with humans rather than reading websites so do give us a call and we can have a chat.

+ What flora and fauna are protected?

Various plants and animals are protected by European and UK law which makes it an offence to effect a species in specific ways. For example the 18 species of bat currently known to regularly occur in Britain are protected against:

  • Deliberately capturing, injuring or killing a bat;
  • Intentionally or recklessly disturbing a bat in its roost or deliberately disturbing a group of bats;
  • Damaging or destroying a bat roosting place (even if bats are not present); and
  • Intentionally or recklessly obstructing access to a bat roost.

There are various other species which are also a material consideration especially during planning. These may include Species of Principal importance such as stag beetle, brown hare or hedgehog.

The list of Priority Habitats and Species in England can be found here.

The list of Priority Habitats in Wales, and the Priority Species in Wales can be found here.

The list of Priority Habitats and Species in Scotland can be found here.

The list of Priority Habitats in Northern Ireland can be found here and Priority Species in Northern Ireland can be found here.

+ What is an ecology survey?

Ecology surveys typically occur in multiple phases depending on the site conditions, time of year, output required and if additional work is recommended. Surveys typically involve an initial scoping survey or preliminary ecological appraisal which can then be used to submit with a planning application. If additional survey work is recommended during the process such as a bat survey this would then be undertaken in stages, potentially including an initial assessment/inspection followed by detailed activity surveys. Surveys can be severly time constrained to coincide with a period within the animals lifecycle so speaking with an ecologist early in your project schedule is paramount.

+ When can surveys be undertaken?

Some survey work can be conducted all year round such as scoping surveys, preliminary ecological appraisals and basic inspections. However the majority of ecology work must be undertaken when the specific flora is in flower or animal is active. A survey calendar for the most common species can be found here.

This information should be factored into your project schedule so delays can be avoided.

+ How quickly can a survey and report be provided?

We pride oursleves on our fast and pragmatic service. Quotes for survey work can often be provided within hours of them being requested with survey work to follow commission and well within your expected schedule. Some survey work such as for protected species is seasonally constrained (see above) and therefore these surveys can sometimes cause a delay but this is discussed with you and you are kept informed throughout the process.

+ When should an ecologist be involved in your project?

The earlier the better and ideally before a planning application is submitted. The most cost effective and least impacting upon your project is to involve an ecologist at the design stage so that informed decisions about the surveys recommended, site design, project schedule and budgets can be made.

+ Who will undertake my ecology survey?

We utilise our in house team of highly skilled ecologists. All our ecologists are members of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM). All of our ecologists are suitably trained and hold the required survey or mitigation licences for the project being undertaken.

We also work with a team of specialist associates who can be called upon to form a project team that requires specialist knowledge. This also enables us to work with both large and small clients with projects ranging from a loft conversion upto the creation of new towns.

+ How long is ecological survey information valid for?

Survey information is often considered valid for 12-24 months depending on the species, site and potential impact. However this may change and should be confirmed by a professional ecologist.

Our reports clearly display how long the report can be considered valid.


These are just a few of the common questions we are asked. If you have other questions we would love to speak with you: