The Importance of Ecological Surveys

What’s An Ecological Survey?

An ecological survey is vital in the process of establishing the environmental impact a proposed property development will have on an area of land. With any potential new land development, you must conduct a series of various site surveys.

Designed to assess all areas of your worksite in an attempt to explain all issues directly linked to the ecological impact your site is having, an ecological survey places into consideration the site’s immediate environmental impact on nearby habitats or the land itself, thus determining the future of your project. If considerations and environmental legislation are not met, you must cease all development work immediately.

Do I Need One?

In a word; yes.

An ecological impact assessment is considered necessary on all site developments, should one not be carried out, your potential development cannot go ahead. Without clear substantial evidence and detailed reports outlining the impact on the habitat proposed for development, the full impact on the environment and species that habitat the area will not be understood. This could have potentially catastrophic consequences on both the local and wider environment.

What If I Don’t Have One?

There are several ramifications to not completing an ecological survey that could have lasting impacts both on an individual level and on our collective environment. Here are just some of the issues you could face without completing an ecological survey:

Legal Ramifications

Should you not carry out a full ecological survey or environmental impact report, you could face legal ramifications. Punishable by law, any project undertaken which could disrupt, interfere with or potentially even destroy the habitat of protected species is considered highly illegal.

Costly Setbacks

Failing to perform an ecological survey within a pre-determined time frame can have drastic impacts on the overall cost of your project or development. Setbacks, disruption or delays will cost time and in turn, money, potentially impacting the assumed completion date, leading to higher labour costs.

Ecological Damage

Initiating development work without a completed ecological report, provided by a professional ecology consultant, can very easily result in unthinkable damage to the existing habitat, potentially impacting the entire ecosystem surrounding the area. This could have irreversible consequences on the environment, and will no doubt lead to severe legal ramifications.

What’s Included?

An ecology report will present the following:

●      A detailed background into the study

●      Details of personnel who conducted the assessment

●      Methods of desk study, surveying and assessment

●      The results of the surveys and any findings

●      An interpretation of the findings

●      An assessment of potential impacts of the designated site proposals on habitats and species

●      Details for how these measures will be adopted to ensure species and habitats are protected

●      Details for how these measures will enhance the natural environment

Should there be significant changes in and around your potential development site after a survey is carried out but before major work begins, such as the emergence of a mobile species, another survey must be performed. This is also the same if the ecological conditions of the site have changed.