Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (sometimes referred to as PEAs, site appraisals or feasibility studies) is a useful tool, providing developers with a clear indication of the ecological issues likely to be encountered on a project. We advise involving an ecologist at the initial stage of a project, so that any important ecological issues can be identified and evaluated. This will allow any ecological works that are necessary to be incorporated into the development design at an early stage, avoiding delays later on.
We generally advise two components to a thorough ecological appraisal; a site visit and a desk study. For larger developments, we can produce Ecological Constraints and Opportunities maps (ECOP) which will aid the developer in identifying early design issues. Often a site will require a level of further investigation, but for some sites the PEA provides sufficient information for development to proceed.
The site visit provides information on the habitats present, and allows an evaluation of the potential for the site to support protected species. Sometimes we can conduct certain protected species inspections at the same time as the PEA visit. The desk study involves a data search and search for designated sites, to provide background information on species present. It is often recommended or required by local planning authorities.
Preliminary Ecological Appraisal Services
- Initial site visit
- Desk study
- Phase 1 habitat survey
- Initial consultations
- Feasibility report
- EIA screening report
- Ecological Constraints and Opportunities Plan (ECOP)
- Professional advice for next steps