Detailed vegetation surveys may be required where the vegetation communities on a site have been identified as being diverse and hence of ecological value. Typically more detailed vegetation surveys are carried out to National Vegetation Classification (NVC) standard.
The NVC is a standardised method of classifying vegetation communities across the UK and is widely used by conservation organisations to assess vegetation for management and monitoring purposes. The species present within each vegetation community are identified and their abundance is assessed. This allows for the identification of the community to an NVC type. These NVC types are then mapped for a site using GIS (geographic information system). NVC surveys are generally employed on larger development sites, within areas of land subject to habitat management, or at sites of nature conservation.
Hedgerow surveys are carried out to assess whether a particular hedgerow is protected under the Hedgerow Regulations 1997. The survey involves an assessment of plant species present within the hedgerows and the presence of historical features. These surveys are generally carried out where a development may result in the removal of a hedgerow which has been assessed as being species-rich during the extended Phase 1 habitat survey.
River corridor surveys are used to assess the value of watercourses based on the vegetation present and the presence of protected species such as otter, water vole and bats. The vegetation element of a river corridor survey includes an assessment of the types of vegetation communities present along the watercourse, and an assessment of the presence of non-native species. These surveys are required where a watercourse borders or bisects a development site to assess the impacts of downstream sedimentation, and pollution and alteration of flow.
ECOSA carry out a range of surveys to assess the presence of non-native invasive species such as Japanese knotweed, New Zealand pigmyweed and Himalayan balsam. Recommendations for appropriate control measures are made.
Vegetation surveys are seasonal and most cannot be undertaken in the winter. Survey timings should be factored into project programmes early to prevent unnecessary and costly delays due to seasonal constraints.
Please call 02380 261065 to speak to one of our ecologists about your project; or email firstname.lastname@example.org.