Services | Ecological Impact Assessment
Ecological consultants carry out a wide range of ecological surveys, each of which collects some kind of field data. Many of the survey methods used are fairly proscribed and relatively speaking, straightforward.
Others are more flexible and require more thought and planning, i.e. professional judgment. As examples, bat activity studies, ornithological surveys and terrestrial invertebrate assessments often fall into this latter category.
What is certain is that a range of ecological surveys will produce a range of different data in different forms. For example, consider the differences between.
- A botanical assessment using the National Vegetation Classification;
- A great crested newt survey population size class assessment, following the methodology set out in English Nature’s Great Crested Newt Mitigation Guidelines 2001;
- A wintering birds survey using a Vantage Point methodology, repeated twice per month November to March inclusive.
Altogether, these will produce a blend of qualitative, semi-quantitative and quantitative data of different kinds. The challenge is to bring such various ecological data together in a coherent, comprehensible way in order to produce a meaningful synopsis, so that Valued Ecological Resources can be identified and the potential impacts of a development properly assessed. Then, it is important to ensure that any ecological mitigation measures offered address the impacts in question, are appropriate, meaningful and likely to work.
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