This section sets out the various ecological services provided by EECOS. For further details on each specific service, click on the hyperlinks in the main text or in the left margin, which explains the nature of the work and a summary of legal considerations where appropriate. Please contact us if the service you require is not listed.
Our general ecological assessments consists of both out initial site survey – ‘Preliminary Ecological Assessment’ (PEA) – and Ecological Impact Assessments (EcIA). Our PEA, otherwise known as ‘Extended Phase 1’ if required for planning purposes and sets out to establish the potential of a site to support protected and notable species and habitats. Our EcIA can contribute towards a full Environmental Impact Assessment required for larger infrastructure projects.
Preliminary Ecological Assessment (Phase 1)
Ecological Impact Assessments
Species Survey, Licensing and Mitigation
Several of our native species are protected by national and European legislation such as the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) and Habitat Regulations – including bats, Great Crested Newts, reptiles Water Voles and breeding birds. Surveys for legally protected species are required to accompany any planning application to Local Planning Authorities, initially in the form of our initial Preliminary Ecological Assessment, and completing these at an early stage can avoid unnecessary delays. EECOS holds the relevant European Protected Species Licences and we have experience dealing with all protected species encountered in Essex and East of England. We also include surveys for species not covered by legislation in this section, including terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates and wintering birds.
Barn Owls and other Schedule 1 birds
Breeding and wintering birds
Dormice and other small mammals
Great Crested Newts
Invertebrates – terrestrial / aquatic
BREEAM and Code for Sustainable Homes
EECOS has experience of completing Ecology and Land Use sections for both BREEAM and Code for Sustainable Homes (CFSH) Assessments, for a variety of sites including schools, industrial developments and residential housing projects. BREEAM (BRE Environmental Assessment Method) and more recently Code for Sustainable Homes, set the best practice in the sustainable development of new buildings and through the Land Use and Ecology section encourage enhancement of wildlife habitat features within the landscaping plans whilst minimising the ecological impact within the new development footprint.
BREEAM and CFSH Land Use and Ecology Section
Farm Environment Plan (FEP)
A Farm Environment Plan (FEP) is required for any Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) application to Natural England. EECOS has completed FEPs for a range of successful HLS applications covering various habitats and farming methods. A Farm Environment Plan is essentially a census of habitats and species within an area of land being considered for Higher Level Stewardship and provides the opportunity to map wildlife within a farm and thereby recommend the best HLS Management Options for wildlife whilst maximising the available HLS payments to the farm.
FEP survey for farm HLS
Habitat and Botanical
With abundant experience in the field of botany and management planning, EECOS carries out a range of botanical assessments including National Vegetation Classification (NVC) surveys, Phase 1 habitat surveys, Hedgerow Regulations surveys and Invasive Weed Assessments, primarily focussing on Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) Schedule 9 plants such as Japanese Knotweed. We have drawn up detailed Conservation Management Plans for a number of sites including council owned public open spaces and several Essex Wildlife Trust reserves. We also carry out practical habitat and estate management, holding valid brushcutter and chainsaw licences, and can draw upon the considerable experience and resources of Essex Wildlife Trust Reserves department.
Conservation Management Plans
Habitat / estate management
Hedgerow surveys (Hedgerow Regulations)
Invasive Weed Assessments
NVC (National Vegetation Classification)
Phase 1 Habitat Surveys
Our other services include the provision of an experienced Ecological Clerk of Works. This is often required on active development sites, ensuring that ecological issues are safely and swiftly resolved and that statutory obligations to protected species and habitats are kept. This is often required to discharge planning consents and includes communication with contractors (‘tool box’ talks) and ongoing contact and professional advice for the client. In addition, EECOS have a long standing record of producing detailed Local Wildlife Site Reviews for District / Borough Councils and are competent in Tree Assessments (compliant to BS 5837), which includes assessment of the condition of a tree and consideration of roosting bats.
Ecological Clerk of Works
Local Wildlife Site Reviews
Tree Assessments (BS 5837)