Ridgeway Ecology Ltd can undertake a variety of ecological surveys in order to obtain and provide ecological information. These surveys can be carried out independently or combined.
The desk study is the usual starting place for ecological assessment and involves the collation of records of protected species and habitats from a variety of data sources. A desk study is usually combined with an ecological scoping survey, a Phase 1, or an extended Phase 1 habitat survey.
ECOLOGICAL SCOPING SURVEY
Usually undertaken to supplement the desk study. A site visit is conducted to identify any potential ecological constraints. Such constraints could be the potential for legally protected species or habitats to be present on site. This baseline ecological information can be the minimum requirement of the local planning authority when determining or registering planning applications.
PHASE 1 HABITAT SURVEY
A Phase 1 Habitat Survey involves the mapping of the natural and semi-natural habitats present on site and follows a standardised method to classify them. Plant species are recorded within each habitat type, along with the potential for legally protected species and habitats to be present. A colour coded habitat map is produced which allows rapid visual assessment of the extent and distribution of different habitat types. A Phase 1 survey can be carried out at any time of year but it is best done in spring or summer, when vegetation types are more readily identifiable.
EXTENDED PHASE 1 HABITAT SURVEY
An extended Phase 1 habitat survey is based on Phase 1 methodology but provides more detail than the Phase 1 habitat survey or ecological scoping survey. Target notes are produced which give detailed habitat descriptions and identify areas with the potential to support legally protected species. This information then determines what other species specific surveys will need to be undertaken.