Ecological Surveys and Reports in Leeds
JCA Ecological Consultants operate throughout the UK from our base in Halifax, West Yorkshire, providing high quality, comprehensive ecological surveys and reports with efficiency and professionalism, helping you sustainably achieve your goals.
Our experienced and qualified ecologists provide a range of consultancy services including preliminary ecological appraisals, protected species surveys, invasive species surveys and numerous post-planning services. Our reports include a comprehensive view of the potential impacts of development, based on a detailed desktop study and site surveys, and advice on how to proceed with planned works.
Ecological consideration at each stage of application will be guided by JCA’s helpful ecologists, from initial habitat and protected species surveys to extensive post-planning management and mitigation. All our surveys and reports are undertaken and compiled in accordance with CIEEM’s professional code of conduct and the relevant survey guidance to ensure only the highest quality.
How Can JCA Ecological Consultants Assist With Your Project?
In the first instance, a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal would be undertaken at site. This is the most common type of ecological survey required before a development is granted planning permission. Using this method, an ecologist is able to visit a site and assess its ecological value in the form of its potential to support or provide a service to any protected species.
A JCA ecologist will visit the site to map the habitat types present and record the dominant floral species and any faunal species encountered. A desktop study will also be undertaken to collect local records of protected species and nature conservation sites.
This information will then be used in conjunction with local and national planning policy to produce a report detailing both the results of the survey and recommendations for further ecological surveys. A well implemented Preliminary Ecological Appraisal can reduce the risk of protected species being harmed by a development, identify potential ecological problems the site may face such as invasive plant species, and reduce the likelihood of unnecessary surveys being carried out in the future.
JCA Ecological Consultants Protecting Threatened Species in Leeds
JCA Limited has expertise in undertaking protected species surveys and understands their ecological requirements.
Where protected species are likely to be affected by a development, appropriate protected species surveys will be required to assess short or long-term impacts. Determining the presence/likely absence of legally protected species, and implementing in appropriate mitigation if required will contribute to a successful planning application. JCA’s helpful and highly experience ecologists can carry out these surveys for your application.
Protected Species and The Law
In the UK some species are afforded greater legal protection than others and development which will negatively impacted on populations of these species can be restricted.
Some species are fully protected under UK Legislation:
It means not only are the animals themselves protected but their habitats also. There are other protected species which are protected in different ways and at different times of the year. Some other species, which may be encountered during development works, are protected under UK law, specifically the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981).
Protected species surveys can be confined to certain times of the year. At JCA we work around the Protected Species Survey Calendar to ensure that an accurate survey for each protected species is taken.
Biodiversity Metric Assessments in Leeds by JCA Ecological Consultants
Biodiversity net gain (BNG) is a strategy to develop land and contribute to the recovery of nature. It is a way of making sure the habitat for wildlife is in a better state than it was before development. For example, building houses, planting a woodland or sowing a wildflower meadow.
The metric uses habitat features as a proxy measure for capturing the value and importance of nature. It uses a calculation that takes into account the importance of these features for nature: their size, ecological condition, location and proximity to nearby ‘connecting’ features. The metric enables assessments to be made of the present and forecast future biodiversity value of a site (Natural England, 2022).
If you are a land manager, developer or from a local planning authority, it is more than likely that you will require the service of an Ecological Consultant to produce a Biodiversity Net Gain calculation for you.
Ecological Post-Planning Services by JCA Ecological Consultants
JCA Ecological Consultants provide a variety of post-planning services that both enhance and maintain biodiversity on your site. This is particularly important when dealing with protected species, such as bats. Protected species surveys may detect a need to formulate mitigation plans for these species. Creating a biodiverse and varied natural environment has many long-lasting and positive effects, and is something any planning application should consider.
We provide the following:
Protected species mitigation
Habitat enhancement and management
Ecological construction method statement
Protected Species Mitigation Plans by JCA Ecological Consultants in Leeds
If it is found that protected species will be affected by a development project a Mitigation Licence will be required, which includes the formulation of a detailed mitigation strategy. You need a mitigation licence if your work will have impacts on protected species that would otherwise be illegal, such as:
- Disturbing individual animals
- Capturing, killing, disturbing, or injuring them (on purpose or by not taking enough care)
- Damaging or destroying their breeding or resting places (even accidentally)
- Obstructing access to their resting or sheltering places (on purpose or by not taking enough care)
JCA’s experienced and licensed ecologists can guide you through this process and provide assistance at every stage of the application, from initial survey to implementation of the mitigation strategy and method statement. A mitigation plan may also be used even when a Mitigation Licence is not required to lessen or prevent negative impacts on biodiversity arising from development. The overall aim of a mitigation plan will aim to retain the positive conservation status of protected species and overall biodiversity.
JCA ecologists will use the following general overall hierarchical approach when constructing a mitigation strategy:
- Avoid negative impacts.
- Mitigate to reduce impacts.
- Compensate; for loss of habitat etc.
Measures which may be included in your mitigation strategy are:
- Changing the plans to avoid negative impacts.
- Change the timings of the works.
- Creating, restoring or enhancing habitats required by the species (e.g. implement a planting scheme and habitat construction)
- Exclusion and relocation programmes
- Long-term monitoring strategy
JCA Ecological Consultants can create mitigation strategies for any and all protected species found in your site.
Habitat Enhancement and Management Plans
JCA Limited specialises in enhancing and creating habitat to maximise biodiversity potential on your site. From garden planting schemes to large commercial projects, our experienced team of ecologists create plans that are tailored to your site. We focus on collating existing information such as local Biodiversity Action Plans, as well as details provided by previous ecological reports by ourselves and others, to inform our detailed plans.
JCA Ecological Consultants can also implement such plans as we collaborate with landscape architects to get the best out of biodiversity needed for such schemes and also introduce habitat based on our plans or ones that have been previously approved.
We are also highly experienced in the planning and implementation of faunal boxes such as bat boxes and invertebrate shelters to maximise wildlife on your site.
Previous work has included:
Wetland creation including fens, ponds, ditches and streams
Grassland planting based on local species and geology of the site
Hedgerow lay and translocation
Translocation of soils and species such as bluebells
Improving connectivity between isolated patches of habitat
Faunal shelter creation from invertebrate hotels to bat boxes
Industry Leading Arboricultural Consultants in Leeds
JCA Limited can assist with both large and small scale projects. Whether you are adding an extension onto your existing property or are planning a large industrial/commercial development on a much larger scale. Our dedicated team provide high quality surveys for both the public and private sector operating throughout the UK. Please contact us for a free no- obligation quote on 01422 376335 or email email@example.com