Ecology Surveys in Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Beyond in 2017

Udall-Martin Associates have carried out numerous ecology surveys in Herefordshire, Worcestershire and beyond in 2017. Udall-Martin Associates Ltd. is a specialist ecological consultancy providing a nationwide service. Our main office is set in the Malvern Hills on the Worcestershire – Herefordshire border and this year we have been fortunate to have worked on a large range of interesting and diverse ecology projects close to home in Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire and Shropshire, with one of our most recent ecology sites being set on the Malvern Hills themselves. Our ecology work also extended into the wider regional areas reaching down to Wiltshire and Devon in the South West, to South Wales and up to Ruthin and Anglesey in North Wales. Examples of our more local work are as follows:

For sites in Hollybush and Newland (Worcestershire), Perrystone Hill (Herefordshire), Honiton (Devon) and Newborough (Anglesley) we carried out initial preliminary ecological appraisals of the sites. This comprised consultation with the local biological records centres to obtain any previous ecological data for the sites and vicinities and also a site visit to carry out an Extended Phase-1 habitat survey. These projects were for discrete sites, generally often comprising one or two fields or areas of land adjoining residential properties. For these projects we also carried out further bat surveys, badger surveys, hazel dormouse surveys, great crested newt surveys and reptile surveys.

On other sites we carried out further Phase-2 protected species surveys which were required to enable a full assessment of the potential impacts of the proposed development on ecology. These included bat scoping surveys, bat dusk/dawn surveys and nesting bird checks at Pegglesworth (Gloucestershire), Ewyas Harold, Colwall, Mansel Gamage and How Capel (Herefordshire) and a care home site in Malvern (Worcestershire) and a protected species walk-over survey including great crested newt habitat assessment in Beobridge (Shropshire). Several sites this year required European Protected Species mitigation licenses from Natural England and Natural Resources Wales to enable the development works affecting the bat roosts to proceed. We carried out all preliminary bat surveys, produced bat reports for planning applications and produced all EPS licence documents. We liaised closely with the clients and architects to ensure that recommended proportionate bat mitigation and compensation measures were included within the development proposals and that they would satisfy the statutory agencies. At our EPS mitigation site in Colwall, Herefordshire we recorded the rare lesser horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus hipposideros) and therefore we designed a dedicated bat loft to be situated above a new garage/office. At a school site in Porth, South Wales we carried out bat surveys and produced EPS development licence to enable the extensive refurbishment works to proceed to programme. A former NHS site in Devizes (Wiltshire) was found to contain several bat species and work is now progressing well under the EPS licence.

For a large landfill site in South Wales, we have carried out a preliminary ecological appraisal and further protected species surveys for ground nesting birds (including quail) and reptiles and an initial walk-over survey for invertebrates. In Ruthin, North Wales we carried out several further ecology surveys comprising bat activity surveys and remote monitoring, reptile surveys, tree climbing bat surveys, hedgerow assessment and botanical survey, as well as an arboricultural survey and assessment. During the bat activity surveys we recorded the rare lesser horseshoe bat foraging and commuting along a hedgerow proposed for removal and a desk study revealed that a SSSI is located approximately 500m from the site, with hibernating lesser horseshoe bats previously recorded at the SSSI. We therefore recommended the hedgerow proposed for removal was translocated to existing open boundaries on the proposed development site.

Udall-Martin Associates provides a pragmatic and practical approach and works closely with the statutory agencies to ensure proportionate mitigation and compensation is recommended.

Udall-Martin Associates can provide for all your ecology needs. Call us today on 01684 540695 for a quotation or advice. We would be happy to assist with your planning application, satisfying planning conditions and/or obtaining a European Protected Species mitigation licence.