Protected Species Surveys
Reuben Singleton has over 25 years professional experience in surveying for a range of protected species and advising on what is required to comply with current UK legislation.
Surveys for many of these species can only be carried out at certain times of year, for example, surveys to effectively determine the presence or absence of great crested newt in a pond can only be undertaken in spring and early summer. Advice is available on survey timings.
Phase 1 survey – The aim of a Phase 1 survey is to provide a quick, standardised assessment of the vegetation and wildlife habitat on a site. Vegetation is plotted on base maps using 90 standardised habitat types with dominant species in each habitat recorded. Target notes are provided which describe in more detail, particular features of interest.
National Vegetation Classification (NVC) survey – NVC surveys are generally asked for by local authorities or SNH where the initial Phase 1 survey has revealed habitats of nature conservation value. NVC surveys are much more detailed, requiring the production of species lists and more detailed habitat classification. They are often used to inform the micro-siting of projects and also to inform the restoration of natural habitats or creation of new habitats.
Invasive species surveys – Over 20 plant species are listed under Schedule 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 which makes it an offence to plant or otherwise cause these species to grow in the wild. Construction works which can inadvertently spread these species need to be very carefully managed to ensure compliance with legislation. While some of these species are well known, e.g. Japanese knotweed and giant hogweed, others such as few-flowered leek and Australian swamp stonecrop are also widespread in Scotland and northern England.