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Ecology Surveys for all Seasons

November 9, 2012 HannahMaben Ecological ConsultancyEcologist

Many developers are aware of the constraints that many ecological survey seasons can have on a project programme having previously encountered delays to planning applications due to the likes of hibernating bats and great crested newts, for example.

However, there are some ecological surveys that can be undertaken throughout the year and can help project managers and developers understand, avoid and/or plan for the seasonal nature of some protected species.  The sooner such surveys are undertaken the sooner the developer / project manager can understand and manage the potential seasonal delays that ecology may pose to a development.

  • Extended Phase 1 habitat survey – There are no seasonal constraints to undertaking an extended Phase 1 habitat survey; however, indicative species list will reflect the timing of the survey.  Winter Phase 1 habitat surveys are still an effective way to assess the ecological value of a site and scope the need for further, potentially seasonally constrained, ecological surveys and inform project programmes.
  • Badger survey – Surveying for badgers during the winter can actually be more conclusive as this is when vegetation is least dense and least likely to obscure signs of badger presence.
  • Otter survey – Provided that the survey avoids floods or after periods of heavy rain, otter surveys can be effectively undertaken throughout the year.
  • Preliminary bat roost assessment – Whilst assessing the likely use of a structure is generally best during the active season (typically May-September), a winter survey is just as good as any other time of year for assessing a structures suitability to support roosting bat and scoping the need for further surveys.  Such assessments of trees can be particularly efficient during the winter when foliage is not obscuring features on the truck and branches.

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

Badger surveyBat surveyEcological ConsultancyEcologistecology surveyOtter surveyPhase 1 habitat surveysurvey 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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