Nature Conservation is an integral component of most Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA). Clear and concise information about the likely significant ecological effects associated with large-scale projects is essential. It requires a scientifically rigorous approach to satisfy decision-makers and statutory consultees, and a robust assessment that may need to stand up to scrutiny at Public Inquiry. Ecological Impact Assessment (EcIA) also relies on ecologists using their professional judgement; Pure Ecology can offer an in-depth understanding of EcIA requirements from our background on infrastructure schemes, urban expansion housing developments andrenewable energyprojects.
Ourstrength not only lies in providing our clients with robust and accurate reports, but a professional approach to working with other EIA professionals to achieve positive results for the scheme. Identification of ecological constraints at the concept stage allows design solutions to be integrated with other environmental disciplines. We will provide pragmatic and practical advice on mitigation and enhancement measures that can be achieved through the planning process. Large-scale projects can often be phased and require long-term management. We prepare Landscape Ecology Management Plans (LEMP) to protect important wildlife areas and guide development with prescribed management works to increase the botanical diversity and habitat structure.
As well as EIA, there is a legal requirement for projects and plans that have the potential to have a significant effect on the integrity of European designated sites for nature conservation (the ‘Natura 2000’ network) to have an ‘appropriate assessment’ (Under Regulation 61 of the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010). Pure Ecology has expertise in the provision of advice to such projects and we can provide Habitat Regulation Screening (HRA) and Appropriate Assessment reports. We have dealt with issues including habitat loss, air pollution, hydrological effects, recreational pressures and impacts on the sensitive plant communities and protected species (including bats and birds) for which these sites are valued.