Phase 1 and Extended Phase 1 Survey
Phase 1 and Extended Phase 1 surveys are very regularly undertaken and are often required by planning authorities and others as the most basic form of ecological field investigation.
Phase 1 habitat survey is conducted using a nationally-accepted methodology; the site is surveyed and habitats are identified and mapped using standard habitat categories.
Target notes are made to describe features of ecological interest, e.g. significant habitats, rare or important species etc..
Survey and reporting are relatively quick to complete and provide valuable information when making decisions about an area - such as for conservation management or planning decisions.
Often this basic survey is 'extended' to include more detailed protected species recording and the assessment of habitat suitability for protected species.
Optimum timing for survey is March to September, during the plant growing season, but surveys outside of these months are still useful.
Where more detailed botanical recording is required, a survey to National Vegetation Classification (NVC) standards is undertaken.
Plant species are recorded in detail in order to classify the different plant communities present. Some plant communities are common and widespread, but others are more important and will be highlighted from NVC survey results.
Botanical surveys can be conducted from March to October, although optimal surveying time is usually April to September.
Hedgerows are an important landscape feature and are the subject of their own legal Act. Standard hedgerow survey techniques are used to record hedgerow distribution and quality. They cover such aspects as hedgerow structure, setting, associated features, and wood and ground flora components.
Surveys involve complete survey or sampling if the study area is large. Data collected during surveys are examined against set criteria to assess the importance of each hedgerow, as well as being used to determine hedgerow 'condition' and guide conservation management.
Hedgerow surveys are used to identify 'important' hedgerows in accordance with the Hedgerow Regulations (1997).
Tree Survey & Arboricultural Statements
Trees are often an important feature of potential development sites and planning applications often need to demonstrate how the tree resource has been considered and, where possible, retained and protected from damage during construction and future occupancy. All of our tree work is delivered in line with the guidelines set out within BS5837:2005 and can include:
(i) Tree survey drawing and schedule - These surveys provide information regarding the species, size, age, condition and useful life expectancy of trees. They also categorise trees, groups of trees or woodlands in terms of their quality and value.
(ii) Tree Constraints Plan (TCP) – Provides an aid to layout design that shows tree Root Protection Areas (RPA) as well as representing the effect that the mature height and spread of retained trees will have on the development. The TCP incorporates the tree survey information and illustrates both the above-ground (shade patterns) and below-ground RPA constraints posed by the trees.
(iii) Tree Protection Plan (TPP)– Usually representing a scale drawing showing the finalised layout proposals, the plan shows tree retention and tree and landscape protection measures detailed within the an arboricultural method statement.
(iv) Arboricultural Method Statement (AMS) – this sets out the information regarding the measures to be taken to protect the trees shown to be retained on the submitted drawings. It also details the methodology for the implementation of any aspect of the proposal that has the potential to result in loss or damage to a tree, as appropriate.