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, birds and marine mammals 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…

What we’re saying…

Ecologist Steve Docker surveying birds by Ecologist Martin Ledger

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Andrew Baker, Managing Director of Baker Consultants, provided evidence at the planning appeal

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Andrew Baker to speak on the legal position of European Protected Species

Andrew Baker has been invited to speak about the legal position…
Planning appeal for housing and residential development won

Updated Ecological Impact Assessment guidelines

Ten years on from the previous edition, CIEEM (the Chartered…

What people say about us…

Jon Allen

“Baker Consultants’ comprehensive understanding of ecology regulations was integral to outline planning consent being secured for Hele Park. We were particularly impressed with their innovative survey methods and the quality of their Ecological Impact Assessment.” Read the Hele Park case study here.

Jon AllenDevelopment Project Manager & Acquisitions South Commercial Estates Group
Reuben Cooke

“Baker Consultants provided a professional service that contributed to the success of this scheme. Their technical and ecological expertise gave us confidence that the development would meet all legal ecological requirements.” Read the Hele Park case study here.

Reuben CookeTechnical Manager Redrow
Laura Morrish

“Baker Consultants has been undertaking regular bird surveys for approximately five years across a wide area of ABP owned land in Hull in order to provide baseline data information for Environmental Impact Assessments and to allow for the preparation of annual monitoring reports.  We have developed an excellent working relationship with the team, who are left to undertake the bird surveys independently but inform us quickly of anything substantial or notifiable.” Read the case study here.

Laura MorrishProjects Manager, HumberAssociated British Ports
Marcus Grundy

“The innovative use of technology in a challenging survey situation saved the project a significant amount in network delay charges. Baker Consultants’ methodology has been cited in the Network Rail best practice guidelines for good reason.” Read the case study here.

Marcus GrundyEnvironment Section HeadTata Steel Projects
Stephen Tromans QC

“Andrew was extremely thorough and thoughtful in preparing his evidence for the inquiry, in anticipating the possibly contentious and difficult areas. He gave his evidence in a very clear and confident manner and dealt well with points raised in cross-examination.”

Stephen Tromans QCJoint Head of ChambersThirty Nine Essex Street
Richard Seabrook

“The use of this technique has saved us a significant sum of money which could be replicated at many sites. Baker Consultants’ experience of remote survey and negotiation with the regulatory authorities got a speedy result allowing us to get on site faster and complete the works.”

Richard SeabrookEnvironmental and Ecological Consultant Tata Steel Projects
Charles Johnson

“Over the last ten years, CEG has worked with Andrew and his team secure in the knowledge that we will always get a pragmatic and detailed approach to the task. The team at Baker Consultants has shown significant skill in negotiating on points of science with important stakeholders.”

Charles JohnsonProject Development Manager CEG, Saighton Camp Development
Chris Ratcliffe

The range of WRG landholdings creates a challenging environment in terms of pre-planning activity. Baker Consultants has not only carried out all relevant surveys providing advice on timing, frequency and methodology, but has also delivered strategic consultancy on site appropriateness and entered into skilled negotiation with third parties on potentially contentious issues.

Chris RatcliffeSenior planning and estates manager at WRGWRG Case Study