Professional ecological and arboricultural services applying local knowledge and experience
Tel: 01621 862986
Fax: 01621 862990
Abbotts Hall Farm, Great Wigborough, Colchester, CO5 7RZ

Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (Phase 1)


Our initial site survey, often required by Local Planning Authorities to accompany a planning application, is called a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA) (previously known as Preliminary Ecological Assessment). Our PEA follows guidance issued by the Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (see Local Authorities can refer to this type of survey as an ‘Environmental Statement’, ‘Ecological Impact Assessment’, ‘Scoping Survey’, Baseline Survey’ or ‘Extended Phase 1 Survey’ and it is sometimes called a ‘Walkover Survey’.

The purpose of a PEA is to look at the site to determine which species and habitats are present and to assess its potential to support protected species, and others of county or national significance, that may not be immediately apparent. The PEA report will set out what requirement there is for further survey work and the likely need for mitigation or avoidance measures once planning consent has been received. Scheduling a PEA / Phase 1 survey early in the planning process can save time and avoid unnecessary delays because of the seasonality of many of the species survey methodologies.

EECOS ecologists will visit your site and prepare a report that can be submitted with your planning application. Our PEA report includes the following:

  • Biological records search using Essex Wildlife Trust protected species database;
  • A description of the habitats present and an assessment of their conservation value in a local and national context;
  • Identification of designated statutory and non-statutory conservation sites on or around the site, including Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Local Wildlife Sites (LoWS);
  • Assessment for the presence or potential presence of legally protected species, most commonly Great Crested Newts (including Habitat Suitability Index for ponds on site), bats (including a search of any buildings on site), Dormice, Otters, Water Vole, reptiles, breeding birds (including Barn Owls), Badgers and White-clawed Crayfish;
  • Identification of other notable species, such as those covered by a UK Biodiversity Action Plan (NERC Act section 41), or those listed on national or county Red Data Lists;
  • Assessment of any hedgerows against the criteria for importance in the Hedgerow Regulations (1997);
  • Assessment of ecological impacts using the Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management’s guidelines; Recommendations for further survey work, likely mitigation requirements and possible enhancement measures, considering the proposals and timescales given to us;
  • Photos and maps to illustrate our findings;

If you require a quote for a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal / Phase One survey please send an email to us at including a brief description of what is proposed, timescales, site plans and any correspondence received from the Local Planning Authority. Alternatively you can contact us in the office on 01621 862986. We can carry out PEA / Phase One surveys in Essex and surrounding counties, including Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Kent and London.