For free advice call 02380 261065

Will I need an ecological survey?

Planning authorities will expect to see a report from a qualified ecologist accompanying any planning application where the characteristics of the site and its surrounds suggest suitable habitat for any European Protected Species (EPS).

As a rough guide, any of the following would indicate a requirement for a complete assessment for one or more species:

  1. The planned works will affect a traditional timber framed building or other traditional farm building; OR
  2. There is a large suburban or rural garden; OR
  3. A building is little used or has one of more features suggesting suitability for bats including a large roof void, large roof timbers with joints and holes, an uneven roof or wall covering with potential access points; OR
  4. There are lakes or water courses on or adjacent to the site; OR
  5. There is heathland on, adjacent to or linked by suitable habitat to the site; OR
  6. There are areas of meadow, parkland, pasture or 'brownfield' sites, adjacent to or linked to the site; OR
  7. There are ponds or ditches on the site or within 500 metres of the site and linked to it; OR
  8. There is woodland, scrub or hedgerow on, adjacent to or linked, for example by hedgerows, to the site; OR
  9. There is coastal habitat in the vicinity; OR
  10. There are other features which may be in use by wildlife, for example large, gnarled or complex tree structures or humid caves or cave-like spaces; AND/OR...
  11. There are existing records of protected species within two kilometres of the site, for example from local residents or the Local Records Centre.

This information is based on guidance from Natural England to authorities making decisions on planning applications.

For the majority of projects a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA) is the first step in the process, to identify any direct evidence of protected species and any habitat suitable to support protected species on site, and whether any further protected species surveys or vegetation surveys are required.

Many ecological surveys are subject to survey season timing constraints. We highly recommend you speak to a qualified ecologist on 02380 261065 to discuss the specifics of your project; or contact us at

Maps, aerial and other photographs assist greatly with initial advice on which surveys will be required. You can also request a quote for an initial site assessment online.