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Ecology Survey Seasons: January/February Tips

January 30, 2013 HannahMaben Ecological Consultancy

The start of the year is a good time to plan and programme ecological surveys for the up and coming survey seasons ahead.  By planning ahead and taking account of various seasonal constraints posed by many protected species survey seasons project managers can avoid potential delays in submitting planning applications or enabling construction works.

Seasons Ecology’s Survey Season Calendar is a good starting point for project managers looking to take account of habitat and species survey seasons, but the following seasons are rapidly approaching:

  • Badger bait-marking can be required for larger and/or more complex sites or projects that cannot avoid impacts on a significant sett.  Such surveys have one of the most restricted surveys seasons spanning just two and a half months of the year (mid-February to the end of April) and furthermore can take a number of weeks to complete.  January and early February are therefore a good time to undertake initial badger surveys (that can be undertaken year round) and assess project proposals to determine the likely impacts on badger and need for more detailed badger bait-marking surveys to be undertaken.
  • As weather improves in February great crested newts will start to emerge from terrestrial habitat where they have been hibernating over winter and will make their way to aquatic habitats for the breeding season.  The breeding season typically starts in mid-March and continues until mid-June (subject to weather), which dictates the optimal survey season for great crested newt surveys.  Great crested newt surveys require four or six site visits throughout this season, half of which must be undertaken between mid-April and mid-May.  A desk study and extended Phase 1 habitat survey (that can be undertaken year round) can determine the likely presence of great crested newts on a site and inform the need for detailed great crested newt surveys.
  • Seasonally unconstrained works such as ecological desktop studies, extended Phase 1 habitat surveys, preliminary bat roost assessments and otter surveys are also on-going throughout January and February.  Undertaking such surveys at this time of year is a great way to determine the need for further surveys and assess the likely need to plan ahead for other species surveys later in the year.

For further information on ecological survey seasons visit or to discuss your specific project programme please contact us on

Badger surveyBat surveyEcological Consultancyecology surveyGreat crested newt surveyOtter surveyPhase 1 habitat surveyplanningsurvey seasonswinter surveys

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Seasons Ecology Limited Directors: K M Hayward MCIEEM & H M Maben MCIEEM
Registered Address: 69 High Street, Bideford, Devon, EX39 2AT
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