Month: August 2016

Ecological Surveys: Their Place in Modern Development

Posted on August 10, 2016 in Business

Protecting Endangered Species & Natural Habitats

Ecological surveys need to be carried out in order to identify habitats along with any species that are present in a particular area. This is important when a development proposal is made, because certain sites may be subjected to a loss of habitat, or a reduction in the value of such a habitat. There may also be a considerable negative impact on species that live in that area, including birds. We thus need to make sure that developments do not lead to these kinds of problems, and whenever possible we have to try to strike a balance between proceeding with a development and doing so in a sustainable manner. With the help of ecological surveys carried out by professional landscape architects, one will be able to identify any ecological constraints that may be present, while ensuring that the appropriate measures are taken as early as the design stage of the proposed development or project.

Ecological Survey. Image credit: ECOSA

Ecological Survey. Image credit: ECOSA

Thus undertaking ecological surveys will help developers to be aware of any ecological constraints that need to be dealt with, so as to design the development in a manner that will help them to minimize the impact on biodiversity, which is of utmost importance. If there are any legally protected species, these will be identified and action will be taken so as to safeguard them by avoiding, or at least, minimising any negative impacts that the proposed development may have had on them. Landscape designers and architects will advise on the possible modification and enhancement measures to be taken, and will also come up with feasible ways to make sure that these measures are ideal for the site, the surrounding areas, as well as for the habitats and species involved.

Ecological surveys are considered to be a very important part of the application process. Local planning authorities will consult the ecological survey report and any relevant considerations while they are determining whether to accept an application for development or not. So effectively by entrusting a specialist with the carrying out of an ecological survey, you will be improving your chances of having your application for development accepted. This is because you are clearly demonstrating that you are aware of the consequences and want to take into account the ecological aspects of the site in question.

The primary ecological appraisal that is carried out is referred to as a Phase 1 Habitat Survey, and an extended one may be required as well in some cases. The findings will be then be submitted to the local planning authority. This is done in the form of a meticulous report where all the findings are detailed, along with an assessment of how the development that is being proposed could have an impact on any habitats and species in the said area. This is done so as to ensure that the relevant information is made available with, or prior to submitting the application for development.

Analysing Grasslands & Fauna

Analysing Grasslands & Fauna. Image credit: North York Moors National Park

Ecological surveys are also used to detect any environmental conditions as well as to document the vegetation on project sites. Data will be gathered on the fauna, vegetation, as well as on other elements. Generally different management methods are used on such project sites. With their help it will then be possible to document any differences in vegetation in the different sections of a site. It would also be easier to see how such sections may have changed from one period to another. This is carried out with a number of different management regimes which are applied to the various sections of the site, so as to then compare them to a control section, which is basically like a constant factor. These types of studies with the help of ecological surveys are indispensable in cases when we would need to identify different plant architectures, as well as to identify why and how a site has changed over a span of time.

The information acquired from such thorough investigations and surveys on such sites will equip you with a great deal of knowledge. This information will then be used to devise a more sustainable strategy or plan of action. Effectively ecological surveys can help you to reach conclusions as well be of an indispensable assistance for decision making in these areas.