Below is general guidance on the timings and seasonal constraints that apply to Ecological Survey work. Survey periods can vary depending on the objectives and methods used, and are frequently influenced by a number of Environmental factors.
Contact us to identify which surveys are likely to be required and how best to carry them out.
A Habitat survey can only be started once a local planning body confirms that a particular piece of land is being considered to be developed. This would include a Phase 1 Habitat Survey.
Phase 1 Habitat surveys can be carried out throughout the year. The objective of this survey is to identify the Habitats into a class system. Spring and Summer seasons provide better details for species lists.
Phase 1 Surveys can be extended to identify whether the site can potentially house protected species. The reason for an extended Phase 1 Survey is to help decide whether additional detailed surveys are required.
Sometimes certain Habitats may need a more detailed survey technique, National Vegetation Classification Surveys (NVC) are requested for this type of process. NVC’s can be carried out during the Spring and Summer Seasons.
Bat Activity Surveys can be performed between May and August with multiple visits being carried out in the time period.
Bat Activity Surveys can be carried out from April to October. This helps identify Bat Habitats and flight paths. Multiple visits are required to give a strong outlook.
Buildings can house Bat Roosts throughout the year. This quantity is reduced in the Winter months. However, evidence of roosts could still be present. If there is any notable information regarding roosts being present, a follow up assessment is required.
Surveys to assess Trees for Bats can be conducted throughout the calendar year. A good time to survey is during the Winter as foliage is less and trees can be observed more effectively. Surveys don’t have to be restricted to the day, as evening and morning appraisals can be conducted in the Spring, Summer and Autumn months.
January and February are the best months to conduct a Bat Hibernation Survey. However, months from November to March are good periods to carryout Surveys.
The surveying of Great Crested Newts is massively restricted by the seasons. There is a minimal window in the year to conduct any surveys.
Surveys have to be carried out through the months of March to June. A minimum of four visits is required within a survey process.
Breeding dates vary from species to species, but almost all breeding for UK birds happens between the months of February and August. Weather conditions also have a factor in when certain dates occur.
Surveys for Breeding Birds normally need multiple visits from April and June; the timing may be determined based on the species
Winter Bird Surveys would normally happen between the periods of October to March, with the ideal time for most species being November to February. Most Winter surveys require a few visits depending on the objective of the survey.
Bird Migration usually happens from Spring to Autumn. These Migration periods can depend on the species of Bird and the population of a species in a certain location. Survey Objectives, geographical location and specie behaviour need to be established to work out the recommended survey techniques, plus timing.
Dormice cannot be surveyed during the months between November and March, because they Hibernate over the Winter. Artificial Nest Tubes are commonly the best methods of conducting a survey for Dormice.
Reptiles are most visible during the months of April, May and September. However, they are active from March to October. Reptiles are harder to spot in the Summer months as they bask less.
Multiple visits would be needed to get an accurate account of the species population. Weather conditions can have a big effect on survey assessments.
Badger Surveys can be conducted throughout the year. The only factor that creates any difficulty during the Summer, is the amount of Vegetation. Spring and Winter tend to be better times to survey Badgers as the vegetation becomes less of an issue.
Water Vole Surveys can take place between April and September, when Water Voles are most active in the wild. However, in Northern areas of the UK, these Survey periods can be sufficiently shortened to between June and August. In the Winter the species becomes hard to detect as its activity starts to decrease.
Two Survey visits are recommended within the calendar period.
Red Squirrel Surveys can be carried out throughout the year with Spring and Autumn being better periods. Multiple visits can be carried out for the survey, including the use of a number of techniques. The selection of method and timing needs to take account of site characteristics to ensure a quality assessment.
Trail cameras can be used as a low cost method of Surveying.
Otter Surveys can be conducted at any point in the Calendar year. The Spring months of March, April and May are often a good time to complete Survey Assessments, as most Waterside Vegetation has not fully developed, which makes it easier to find evidence of Otters.
Barn Owl Surveys can be carried out throughout the calendar year, but the ideal times are between the months of April and September. Another beneficial time to carry out a Survey for Barn Owls is in the Winter or early Spring, due to the lack of foliage on the trees. During March to May, when Barn Owls start laying eggs, it is best to avoid direct interference.
A Barn Owl’s activity can be surveyed through the months of mid-June to mid-July, using observational methods. However, it is possible to lengthen this observational period to October.
Three Shires Ecology is part of Three Shires Ltd. For over 25 years Three Shires has developed long standing relationships with the UK’s leading construction contractors, House Builders, Civil Engineers, Developers, environmental and ecological consultants.
Three Shires Ecology
Piper Hole Farm
Eastwell Road, Scalford
Phone: 01664 444 604