New house under construction by Patrick Mackie via geograph.org.uk

To book your Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA) or
Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey

Call Midland Ecology

07854473385

or email info@midlandecology.co.uk

For fast, friendly and affordable service

You may be required to undertake a PEA, also known as an Extended Phase I Habitat Survey, if there is a risk that your development may present harm to protected species and their habitats.

Your local planning authority should advise you, or your architect, if the development requires a PEA. This will however be needed in most instances.

There are several species in the UK, which are protected by law. These include Bats, Badgers, Barn Owls, Dormice, Great Crested Newts, Otters, Reptiles, Watervoles, and White-Clawed Crayfish.

If you carry out work that causes damage to protected species or their habitats without a license you will be breaking the law.
Penalties on conviction include

- A maximum fine of £5,000 per incident or per animal

- Up to six months in prison

In order to conduct your Preliminary Ecological Appraisal, Midland Ecology will require the following information:

- Your/your client’s name and contact details (e-mail address and telephone number)

- The full site address

- Access to be arranged at a convenient time
(NB it is not necessary for you to be present during the survey as long as there is open access to the site and any buildings. Please ensure any alarm/lock codes are sent to us in advance).

- Full site plan (current condition in PDF format) including the layout of any buildings on site.

- Your development proposals (in PDF format).

- A copy of any ecological surveys previously carried out on site.

PEAs take place during daylight hours and can be conducted at any time of year, with the optimal survey period between mid-March and mid-October (south) / 1st April and 30th September (north).

Click here to view our survey calendar

Assuming visibility is not affected, this type of survey can be conducted in any weather.

A PEA provides an opportunity to exclude the need for further survey work, if the following species and features suitable for use by them can be confirmed absent from the site of proposed development:

- Amphibians

- Invertebrates

- Badgers

- Bats

- Barn Owls

- Breeding Birds

- Reptiles

- Terrestrial mammals e.g. Otter, dormouse and water vole

- Rare or notable plants

- Invasive or problem species

- Protected or ‘Priority’ Habitats

The surveyor’s report informs the client of any known or potential protected or rare species that may be using the site, and outlines recommendations on how to proceed with the works in a legal and ecologically sensitive manner. In essence, our goal is to keep you on the right side of the law, and prevent any nasty surprises.

A PEA provides a ‘snap-shot’ of the potential habitat and wildlife value of the sites at the time of survey and includes; a mapping exercise, a species list and target notes. Our surveyors observe widely accepted national standards set out in the JNCC (2010) publication Handbook for Phase 1 Habitat Survey: a technique for environmental audit, which provides an inventory of the basic habitat types present and allows identification of areas of greater potential that might warrant further study. Our reports are produced in line with the British Standard BS 42020, Biodiversity – Code of practice for planning and development.

The surveyor will conduct a site inspection, using binoculars and cameras where appropriate, searching for signs of faunal activity, e.g. presence of badger setts, mammal tracks or herpetofauna under refugia, and visually examining from the ground any buildings and mature trees to identify features with the potential to support roosting bats. Using these findings alongside the desk study, the surveyor determines whether it is possible to provide a robust, scientifically valid conclusion of probable species absence, or if further survey effort is required in order to achieve this.

The desk study utilises aerial images from Google Earth, MAGIC and other freely available information e.g. Natural England’s Nature On The Map website, and OS Opendata 2010, as well as biological records data, subject to an extra charge.

It is not necessary for you to be present during the survey as long as there is open access to all of the land to be surveyed. Please ensure any alarm/lock codes/keys are sent to us in advance. Midland Ecology includes as standard a Preliminary Badger Assessment if it is possible to access the 30m surrounding the proposed development area boundary on the same visit to check for badger setts, and a Habitat Suitability Assessment for Great Crested Newts, assuming the surveyor finds no further water bodies within 500m in addition to those identified in the desk based study, and access can be gained to all water bodies on the same visit.

The cost of a PEA is determined by the size of the site to be surveyed. Our fee includes the desk study, site visit and the production of a report, with associated costs (e.g. mileage, expenses) all included. Call us on 07854473385 or e-mail us for a more detailed quote.

Unless these have already been obtained as part of a recent survey on the site, biological records data will also be required. This is provided by your local biological records centre, who will charge their own fee. We will contact them for a quote on your behalf.

Midland Ecology aims to have your finished report with you within 10 days of completing the survey.

Depending on your local records centre, Biological Records Data (BRD) can delay the final version of your report. We will request a probable timescale when obtaining your quote, and advise you immediately of any likely delays.

If all protected species or their habitats are absent from the site then no further survey effort is required.

A PEA in which protected species or their habitats are present is not normally considered sufficient for local authorities to authorise planning, and so further protected species surveys would be required in order to provide adequate support for a planning application.