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We have extensive experience of the interface between nature conservation interest and development proposals.  Our approach is not simply to provide mitigation for lost interest, but rather to enhance existing interest, provide new habitats and to integrate new development with ecology where possible - this can provide not only an attractive, rich environment for the new development, but also a greater range and diversity of habitat types.

Our ecologists are highly experienced not only in the technical skills of site survey, but also in working within multi-disciplinary teams including engineers, architects and master planners to realise creative and sustainable solutions.  We are also used to consultation with English Nature and local Wildlife Trusts, whether informally to achieve the best practical solution on a site constrained by ecological interests, or in the course of obtaining formal licenses for work in connection with species protected by statute.

Site Survey

Our ecologists are experienced in using recognised techniques and methodologies for both general and specialist site surveys.  Depending on site characteristics and the stage of the design process, the type of survey may range from a preliminary English Nature Phase 1 Habitat Survey up to full and detailed herpetological or invertebrate studies undertaken by acknowledged experts within these specialist fields.

Protected Species

It is necessary from the earliest stage in a proposed development project for the design team to be fully informed about the presence or potential presence of statutorily protected species on or around the site. Disturbance of interference with such species can constitute a criminal offence.  The presence of bats, badgers, grass snakes, newts, breeding birds or other protected species may often pose a significant constraint on development.  However, these can often be overcome by expert advice and input to the development design at an early stage.  Measures to protect, avoid or translocate such populations can frequently be included in the proposals, and can sometimes secure a positive enhancement to local wildlife interest.

Habitat Creation and Management

Development proposals for a site often require the pro-active involvement of an ecologist in order to provide a 'net gain' in ecological terms. This may involve (for example) the creation of a new wetland habitat, carefully designed to maximise its potential for sustainable wildlife interest, or the setting aside of strategic corridors to provide woodland links between existing isolated areas of habitat.  It may also be appropriate to enter into a programme of low key but positive and ecologically sympathetic management, to optimise over time the nature conservation value of areas of existing or proposed green space. Habitats can be effectively created or enhanced by positive management, as well as by new construction or planting.

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