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A Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA), or a 'walkover' survey, is a general, preliminary assessment undertaken by an ecologist during an initial site visit. Essentially, this type of survey serves two purposes:

  • The survey firstly identifies any potential ecological 'constraints' on the proposed development. For example, a bat roost, a badger sett and the presence of high quality habitats. A Phase 1 Habitat survey will be undertaken at this stage.


  • The ecologist will identify the requirement for further, more detailed surveys (protected species). For example, emergence / re-entry bat surveys may be needed to assess the bat roost in the loft to inform a bat mitigation strategy / bat licence application. 


The survey will allow the ecologist to gather an overall 'picture' of the site, as well as to identify any opportunities to enhance your site for wildlife, to ensure compliance with the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and local policy. This initial survey will inform a PEA or an Ecological Impact Assessment (EcIA) report, if required.


In addition to the walkover survey, a desk study, or data search, will be conducted. This involves accumulating data on local and protected wildlife sites, important habitats and protected species within the vicinity of the proposed development. The data is collected from local records centres and organisations, such as the Bat Conservation Trust (BCT), and internet resources as well as our own records.

Following completion of the walkover survey and desk study, a report will be provided and recommendations made where protected species surveys and / or mitigation is required.

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