Ecological Assessments

Wind farm

Ecological Impact Assessment (EcIA)

We can undertake all of the stages of an EcIA, or you may wish to contract us to undertake particular components, such as the baseline surveys, or even particular aspects of the baseline surveys. We are happy to work with your own ecology or planning team.

For smaller projects, the EcIA document can be a standalone report to accompany a planning application; for larger projects which are subject to an Environmental Impact Assessment, it forms a chapter of a larger multi-disciplinary report known as an Environmental Statement. The project usually follows a sequence of stages which are drawn together into an EcIA report which describes the methods and results of the ecology studies before setting out the recommended mitigation and assessment of impacts.


We offer scoping advice and consultation services to make sure that the ecology work undertaken meets with the expectations of statutory consultees and ensures that work is compliant with best practice and legislation. Good scoping advice means that you don’t undertake unnecessary ecology work and that the ecology work that you do undertake is relevant and underpinned by sound rationale.

Baseline Surveys

We can undertake the usual range of baseline surveys so that the impacts of the development can be assessed and so that appropriate mitigation can be recommended.


The assessment of impacts describes the ecological features which will be impacted, their legal and biodiversity status and predicts how these will be affected by the development.


Avoiding or minimising impacts is the primary aim of any mitigation in addition to ensuring compliance with pertinent legislation. We design mitigation in liaison with our clients (and consultees) so that we achieves the objectives with a plan which is practical and affordable. We draw experience of mitigation from a wide range of development projects such as windfarms, surface coal mines, hydro schemes, flood protection schemes and housing.

Links for further information

Guidance for EcIAs set out by The Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM).

Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA)

A PEA may be a planning requirement for small projects, or may be used as a precursor to an EcIA of an Environmental Impact Assessment. As a minimum, it includes a desk-based study and a Phase 1 walk over survey which is then related to the development and potential impacts. This may be all that is necessary on some sites, however a PEA may lead to the requirement for further specialist surveys.

Links for further information

PEA Guidelines:


Breeam (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) promotes sustainability in building design and construction and many large buildings now aim to achieve a Breeam award. A Bream assessor is appointed to oversee the whole assessment, with specialist input where required. We are experienced in the provision of ecological support for the Landscape and Ecology section of BREEAM assessments. Melanie Findlay complies with the Breeam requirements for a Suitably Qualified Ecologist (SQE). We can provide initial ecological surveys and desk-top studies which provide the baseline for the BREEAM assessment. We advise on what is achievable on your chosen development site, complying with wildlife legislation, how to protect the existing ecological features and how to increase biodiversity on your site.

If you plan to make BREEAM work as hard as it can for biodiversity and gain credits on the way, then you need ecological input as early as possible. This facilitates a team approach to developing the landscape plans which can focus on retaining and enhancing existing features as well as the creation of new habitats for biodiversity.

Links for further information