Preliminary Ecological Appraisals & Phase 1 Habitat Surveys
Planning applications for many sites require a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal. However, this is also known as a Phase 1 Habitat Survey, Biodiversity Assessment, Ecology Report or Walkover Survey. This initial assessment will highlight any further surveys needed, general mitigation and enhancements relevant to wildlife legislation and policy. If no further surveys / assessments are required, then a stand-alone report can be submitted with the planning application. Any further surveys required will need to be conducted before the planning application is determined, and are usually presented within an 'Ecological Impact Assessment' report.
Detailed Botanical Surveys & National Vegetation Classification
The above surveys are usually possible between April and September. National Vegetation Classification (NVC) surveys aim to classify plant communities and therefore allows a habitat to be evaluated.
Certain hedgerows are protected under the Hedgerows Regulations, 1997. It is against the law to remove or destroy certain hedgerows without the permission of the Planning Authority. Hedgerow surveys are possible between April and October, although surveys in April and May are ideal because ground flora species will be more readily identifiable.