Other services and surveys available with Ecolocation.
Ecolocation provide specialist ecological advice and services to a range of clients proposing large-scale mixed use developments through to small-scale extensions. Our ecologists are all members of the Chartered Institute for Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) with extensive experience and knowledge in the areas described below.
We hold relevant licences for working with key species including bats, great crested newts, barn owl and dormice. Our key service areas can be found linked in the banner above but we also offer a range of other services, which include:
Protected Species Surveys
Perhaps you are yet to purchase a piece of land but you require a survey that would identify any potential significant constraints in relation to protected species mitigation? Perhaps the habitat within your site is so small or of such low ecological value, that an in depth Ecological Appraisal/ Phase 1 Habitat Survey is not necessary? If this is the case, then our ecologists can provide you with a tailored quotation for a protected species survey and report, most suitable for your needs.
A Protected Species Survey would focus on the potential of the site to support any protected species scoped into the remit of the survey including noting evidence of any such species and indicating the overall potential of the site to support these species. Such surveys are often relevant for barn conversions where there may be potential for bats, owls, other breeding birds in the barn and possibly badger, but where the surrounding habitat is so small or of such low value that a Phase 1 habitat survey would be unnecessary.
A detailed badger survey may be required if a potential badger sett has been identified on a Phase 1 Habitat Survey or if there are known records of badgers within the vicinity of the site.
A detailed badger survey would consist of a thorough walkover of the site (including up to 30m beyond its boundaries, where possible, as badger tunnels may extend significant distances from the entrance) and would record on a map the number of badger holes, their orientation and whether they were active, together with any latrines, paths, foraging signs or hairs caught on fencing. Occasionally, remote camera traps may be employed at sites to gain a fuller picture of how the site is being used by badger. The badger sett(s) would then be classified such that potential impacts can be understood and appropriate mitigation can be discussed, designed and agreed with you.
Walkover badger surveys can be conducted at any time of year, although badgers are most active between March-October.
Breeding Bird Surveys
If the development site is identified as having potential significance for breeding birds (usually as a result of the Preliminary Ecological Appraisal or due to known bird records from the site), this type of survey will be necessary.
Breeding bird surveys involve three visits to the site spaced evenly between April and June and will record bird species and likely breeding territories. Ecolocation have an expert ornithologist who can survey and recommend suitable, tailor-made mitigation to avoid and, where necessary, replace any habitats in use by breeding birds
Water Vole, Otter and White-Clawed Crayfish Surveys
Should there be a suitable watercourse within or adjacent to the site, then a survey of this feature may be necessary. This involves the ecologist assessing the watercourse and its banks both 150m upstream and downstream for evidence of water vole burrows, latrines and feeding remains; possible otter holts or resting places, as well as crayfish burrows. If the banks are inaccessible from land, we have the capacity to undertake surveys from a kayak.
Otter surveys can be carried out at any time of year, whereas water vole surveys are best undertaken May-October when the animals are more active. Surveys for crayfish are best undertaken July-September.
Should we identify potential for this species in the form of suitable habitat (e.g. woodland or ancient hedgerows) and nearby historical records, Ecolocation have a licensed dormouse surveyor and are fully versed in completing comprehensive dormouse surveys and providing adaptive mitigation proposals.
Such surveys would involve the strategic positioning of specifically designed nest tubes within the targeted habitat. Once in place, regular checks would aim to establish presence/absence and identify how this species may be using the available habitats.
Nest tube surveys for dormice can be undertaken April-November when the dormice are active.
Ecolocation complete ecology surveys and reports to support the ecological credits within the BREEAM assessment. We will guide you through a process which can otherwise be quite complicated, with straightforward terminology and ongoing contact. Our background in working alongside developers has resulted in the ability to understand the needs and constraints of a development, allowing us to gain all possible credits and points, whilst ensuring the development remains viable.
Ecology Chapter of an Environmental Impact Assessment
Having written the Ecology Chapter to inform an Environmental Impact Assessment for a number of successful schemes across the Midlands, we have the experience and capacity to undertake the necessary level of detailed surveying and reporting required for large, complex projects.
Ecolocation are based in one of the few counties where biodiversity offsetting has been piloted and subsequently adopted. As such, we have a tried and tested understanding of how this tool works, including its implications for developing a site.
A Phase 1 Habitat Survey and condition assessment is required to establish the baseline data including size and condition of existing habitats, such that the ‘biodiversity score’ of the site pre-development can then be compared to the ‘score’ of the site post-development, when taking into account habitat retention, creation and management as part of the proposals.
Ecolocation have undertaken biodiversity offsetting calculations on numnerous sites within Warwickshire, where planning permission or condition discharge was subsequently gained and have also successfully applied this tool on sites in Lichfield, Staffordshire. It is anticipated that in coming years, such a tool may become more widely used within the region.