Terrestrial Ecology

Latest case study

Ecology integrated into planning process on complex residential development

We were awarded contracts with both CEG and Redrow for the Hele Park development in Devon.

Early involvement from Baker Consultants in assessing and designing the ecology aspects into the project contributed to the success of this particularly complex scheme in receiving planning permission with very few conditions for its size.

Baker Consultants – Terrestrial Ecology

Survey innovation delivered by experts, backed by robust science

Appropriate, good quality surveys are critical for any project requiring ecology input. Licensed for all protected species surveys, we collect and analyse survey data in a technically and commercially robust way to withstand the highest level of scrutiny.

Always mindful of best practice guidance, we assess and provide the level of ecological survey necessary for each project to satisfy consultees and reduce client risks. Involving clients, design teams, conservation bodies and other consultees ensures the best possible outcome for our clients.

We work across a wide range of sectors, including housing, infrastructure, road and rail, leisure, waste, commercial development, renewable energy, land management, access and recreation, and regeneration.

At our core is a belief in both nature conservation and positive development, well delivered. With our input, projects can provide benefits for nature, for people and for business.

Latest guidelines

Updated Ecological Impact Assessment guidelines

Ecological Impact Assessments (EcIA) are needed for a wide range of developments.

Ten years on from the previous edition, CIEEM (the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management) has just released revised guidelines for Ecological Impact Assessmentand our Technical Director, Carlos Abraham reviews them.

Our approach…

…is scientific, commercially aware, innovative and pragmatic. We implement technological advances, introduce clients to ecological survey innovations and are the only UK ecology consultancy with a dedicated bioacoustics team.

We take projects from conception to construction, assist clients in gaining planning permission and ensure developments are ecologically sustainable.

Our services

As well as surveys, we provide a full range of additional services to our clients, including:

  • ecological impact assessment (EcIA)
  • legal consultancy
  • expert witness at public inquiries
  • biodiversity management
  • and ecological design planning.

We clearly explain the implications of survey data and interpret legislation and policy for our clients to ensure projects comply with all environmental requirements. This aids the decision-making process, minimising constraints and allowing project risks to be managed.

Species and habitat surveys

An ecological assessment must be based on detailed, up-to-date, field data that provides sufficient and valid information to inform the decision-making process. Most ecology work starts with gaining an overall understanding of the habitat and species present within a site through a Phase 1 habitat survey. This survey is usually ‘extended’ to include notes on any protected or notable species that were encountered on the site or where suitable habitat for such species is available.

Our Phase 1 habitat surveys always include an overall assessment of the site’s value and recommendations for further, more detailed work as required, in line with CIEEM’s Guidelines for Preliminary Ecological Appraisal.

Species-specific surveys

After establishing the overall interest on a site, more detailed species surveys may be needed. Generally, these are for those species protected by the various nature conservation laws – such as bats, great crested newts, birds, badgers, and reptiles. The level of legal protection afforded to each species is variable and complex, spanning a number of Regulations and Acts. The level of survey work is tailored to reflect the protection received.

Note that many species surveys can only be carried out at certain times of year when that species is active or can be easily observed. Contact us for more details or check the species-specific pages on the right.

Why Baker Consultants?

Our in-house team of ecology consultants is experienced in gathering data on all key species and holds protected species licenses for surveying species such as great crested newtsbatsdormice and crayfish.

We have a reputation for ecology survey innovation and often employ new technology to survey species. For example, we have been very successful in using remote cameras to monitor badger setts for Network Rail. We lead the way in using remote bioacoustics detectors to survey species such as bats and birds and have devised methods enabling the collected data to be processed rapidly and cost-effectively.

Please explore the links on the right-hand side of this page to find out more about the terrestrial ecology services we offer, or email us now to speak to one of our consultants.

Got any questions?

Talk to us

To find out more and discuss how we can help you with your project…