Posts Tagged ‘phase 1 habitat survey’

Winter tree ID course

Wednesday, February 17th, 2016

After a smattering of overnight snow, the traffic leading out of Cheadle, north Staffordshire, was stationary. It wasn’t the best start to the day, but I arrived at the training course safe and well, if a little late. As I sat in the traffic, I developed concerns about missing the introduction of the training day, but my concerns were put aside as soon as I entered the room. I was greeted with a friendly, relaxed atmosphere and Mark Duffell, the course co-ordinator, spent a few minutes getting me up to speed.

The course first covered certain diagnostic characters which can be used to identify trees in the winter. A large proportion of trees are identified by their leaves alone, but in winter this is no longer possible. Instead, the key characters to look at are the buds; how many, their arrangement, their shape and the presence of bud scales or hairs. Other characters to look at include the twigs, bark, growth form and fruit (if present).

Some tree species are immediately identifiable by their buds, such as the Ash tree (Fraxinus excelsior) which has conspicuous black buds in winter. Cherry trees (Prunus sp) are instantly recognisable due to their horizontally striped bark. However, other species require further investigation. All attendants in the room keyed out a specimen with Mark, who explained how the different identification keys worked and how the different characters should be judged. This first example turned out to be Sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus). We then worked in smaller groups and keyed out species which you might not come across as often, such as Wayfaring-tree (Viburnum lantana), Common walnut (Juglans regia), Tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera), and Wild service tree (Sorbus torminalis). Our group even managed to find a leaf scar which looked like the face of either a sloth or ET. Sadly, this last character did not feature in the books provided.

Despite arriving late, I had a thoroughly worthwhile time on the training course. I feel confident in identifying trees in winter, and even if I cannot recognise the species immediately, I know how to work it out. Many thanks to Mark Duffell and MMU on another excellent course.

Declan, UES Graduate Ecologist

Extended phase 1 survey in Connahs Quay, Deeside

Monday, August 15th, 2011

UES have completed an extended phase 1 habitat survey of a site in Deeside, North Wales in order to inform the client of any potential impacts their development would have on habitats and species.

Semi-improved neutral grassland

The site was defined as semi-improved neutral grassland. The species composition and pattern of growth reflect an unmanaged and ungrazed grassland dominated by course-leaved tussock grasses notably False oat-grass, Cocks foot and Yorkshire fog.

As part of the extended phase 1 habitat survey, specific observations of wildlife were also recorded. Wildlife observations focus on protected species, invasive species or species of conservation interest. Numerous species of birds were recorded during the survey which could have been breeding on or local to site.

In terms of the surrounding area the development of the site in Connahs Quay presents only a minor loss of habitat quality. UES suggested that landscaping should aim to promote species diversity by the appropriate design of habitats and habitats mosaics which promotes natural linkages and hence dispersal of target species. Suggested ideas that may be beneficial to wildlife include, planting of berry and nut bearing shrub species when landscaping, use of nectar bearing flowers, creating a wildflower garden, creating bird feeding stations and the hanging bat and bird boxes on site.

Extended phase 1 habitat survey for Seddon Homes in Lancashire

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

UES have completed an extended phase 1 habitat survey of a site in Lancashire in order to inform the client of any potential impacts their development would have on habitats and species.

A phase 1 habitat survey is a standard method of environmental audit. It involves categorising different habitat types and habitat features within a survey area. The information gained from the survey can be used to determine the ecological value of the site, and to direct any more specific survey work which may need to be carried out prior to the start of work, such as badger surveys, barn owl surveys, bat surveys, great crested newt surveys, dormouse surveys, water vole surveys, breeding bird surveys, hedgerow surveys and tree surveys.

Male Palmate newt (Lissotriton helveticus)

Seddon Homes applied for planning permission for a new build housing scheme which was subject to a ‘Code for Sustainable Homes’ (CSH) assessment. The aim of the Code for Sustainable Homes is to encourage development on land that has a limited value to wildlife, and discourage the use of previously undeveloped land.

The site was surveyed and all species on site recorded. The development site was deemed to be of moderate ecological value due to the neutral grassland with associated mature trees and species-rich countryside hedgerows. Numerous species of birds were also recorded during the survey which could have been breeding on or local to site. Further surveys for great crested newts (GCN) were conducted due to a pond on site being identified as suitable for amphibians. Palmate newts were found on site.

It was decided that enhancement measures were required in order to secure an ecological benefit at site level and achieve the maximum number of CSH ecological credits. The client welcomed the suggestion of incorporating bat and bird boxes into the design of the new buildings, which could provide a real benefit to local bat and bird populations.

On the hunt for orchids

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

There are 56 species of wild orchid in Britain and Ireland (out of around 25,000 known species worldwide). In the UK wild orchids can be found in a variety of natural habitats including woodland, grassland, marshes, heaths and sand dunes, as well as in managed sites such as abandoned pits and roadside verges. Each orchid species has its own blooming season, which can run from as early as April in the case of the Early-purple orchid to as late as September for the Autumn ladies tresses.

The main threats to wild orchids in the UK are habitat change and destruction. In Britain, orchids are protected by the Wildlife And Countryside Act, 1981, which states that it is an offence to uproot them unless you have permission from the land owner.

UES spotted these wild orchids whilst completing ecological surveys in Cheshire, Liverpool, and Hampshire.

Phase 1 Habitat surveys in Lancashire

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

Phase 1 Habitat surveys in Lancashire

Phase 1 habitat surveys can be carried out in Lancashire at any time of year however the optimum time of year to carry out habitat surveys is during the spring and summer months when a more complete range of Lancashire’s flora and fauna are active. Phase 1 habitat surveys are used to catalogue the different types of habitat which are found in a given area. The results of the phase 1 habitat survey can then be used to assess the impacts of a development on an area and if necessary to specify if any further survey work is required. An example of this would be if a badger sett was found inside or close to the development area then badger surveys would be recommended, similarly if an area of habitat was found which was suitable for use by breeding birds then potentially breeding bird surveys would have to be completed prior to the start of works. Lancashire has a variety of different habitat types which support a range of different species, from woodlands to urban areas. Phase 1 habitat surveys are usually required prior to the start of development work and can save time as any potential issues with protected species or protected habitats will be highlighted early in the development.

United Environmental Services carry out surveys across Lancashire. The surveys which are carried out in Lancashire include great crested newt surveys, bat surveys, Phase 1 habitat surveys, breeding bird surveys, water vole surveys and a full range of environmental surveys. United Environmental Services also offer landscape design and garden design services in Lancashire and can provide the materials and implementation work if required. We have a team of experienced surveyors, landscape architects and ground workers who work to a high standard across Lancashire.

United Environmental Services are experienced in a wide range of ecological survey work, contact us for more information.

United Environmental Services are now ISO 9001 certified

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

As a company we always strive to ensure that the services we offer are high quality and good value. We decided to work towards ISO 9001 certification to further improve the way that we operate and hopefully offer a higher quality service to our customers.

Working towards ISO 9001 certification has meant that we have had to look at every aspect of the business with a critical eye in order to identify any improvements which could be made. We have looked at every area of the business from the point of view of our customers and internally and set up a framework which will help us to continually improve the service we offer.

Some of the areas which we covered are; Customer contact and feedback, staff training, professional insurances, IT systems and data security, compliance with legislation and professional licensing.

We hope that this will enable us to continually improve the way in which we work, and enable our clients to tell us if there is anything we could be doing better.

Phase 1 Habitat surveys in Shropshire

Saturday, April 10th, 2010

Phase 1 Habitat surveys in Shropshire

Phase 1 habitat surveys can be carried out in Shropshire at any time of year however the optimum time of year to carry out habitat surveys is during the spring and summer months when a more complete range of Shropshire’s flora and fauna are active. Phase 1 habitat surveys are used to catalogue the different types of habitat which are found in a given area. The results of the phase 1 habitat survey can then be used to assess the impacts of a development on an area and if necessary to specify if any further survey work is required. An example of this would be if a badger sett was found inside or close to the development area then badger surveys would be recommended, similarly if an area of habitat was found which was suitable for use by breeding birds then potentially breeding bird surveys would have to be completed prior to the start of works. Shropshire has a variety of different habitat types which support a range of different species, from woodlands to urban areas. Phase 1 habitat surveys are usually required prior to the start of development work and can save time as any potential issues with protected species or protected habitats will be highlighted early in the development.

United Environmental Services carry out surveys across Shropshire. The surveys which are carried out in Shropshire include great crested newt surveys, bat surveys, Phase 1 habitat surveys, breeding bird surveys, water vole surveys and a full range of environmental surveys. United Environmental Services also offer landscape design and garden design services in Shropshire and can provide the materials and implementation work if required. We have a team of experienced surveyors, landscape architects and ground workers who work to a high standard across Shropshire.

United Environmental Services are experienced in a wide range of ecological survey work, contact us for more information.

Phase 1 Habitat surveys in Cheshire

Saturday, April 10th, 2010

Phase 1 Habitat surveys in Cheshire

Phase 1 habitat surveys can be carried out in Cheshire at any time of year however the optimum time of year to carry out habitat surveys is during the spring and summer months when a more complete range of Cheshire’s flora and fauna are active. Phase 1 habitat surveys are used to catalogue the different types of habitat which are found in a given area. The results of the phase 1 habitat survey can then be used to assess the impacts of a development on an area and if necessary to specify if any further survey work is required. An example of this would be if a badger sett was found inside or close to the development area then badger surveys would be recommended, similarly if an area of habitat was found which was suitable for use by breeding birds then potentially breeding bird surveys would have to be completed prior to the start of works. Cheshire has a variety of different habitat types which support a range of different species, from woodlands to urban areas. Phase 1 habitat surveys are usually required prior to the start of development work and can save time as any potential issues with protected species or protected habitats will be highlighted early in the development.

United Environmental Services carry out surveys across Cheshire. The surveys which are carried out in Cheshire include great crested newt surveys, bat surveys, Phase 1 habitat surveys, breeding bird surveys, water vole surveys and a full range of environmental surveys. United Environmental Services also offer landscape design and garden design services in Cheshire and can provide the materials and implementation work if required. We have a team of experienced surveyors, landscape architects and ground workers who work to a high standard across Cheshire.

Phase 1 Habitat surveys in Greater Manchester

Sunday, March 14th, 2010

Phase 1 habitat surveys can be carried out in Greater Manchester at any time of year however the optimum time of year to carry out habitat surveys is during the spring and summer months when a more complete range of Greater Manchester’s flora and fauna are active. Phase 1 habitat surveys are used to catalogue the different types of habitat which are found in a given area. The results of the phase 1 habitat survey can then be used to assess the impacts of a development on an area and if necessary to specify if any further survey work is required. An example of this would be if a badger sett was found inside or close to the development area then badger surveys would be recommended, similarly if an area of habitat was found which was suitable for use by breeding birds then potentially breeding bird surveys would have to be completed prior to the start of works. Greater Manchester has a variety of different habitat types which support a range of different species, from woodlands to urban areas. Phase 1 habitat surveys are usually required prior to the start of development work and can save time as any potential issues with protected species or protected habitats will be highlighted early in the development.

United Environmental Services carry out surveys across Greater Manchester. The surveys which are carried out in Greater Manchester include great crested newt surveys, bat surveys, Phase 1 habitat surveys, breeding bird surveys, water vole surveys and a full range of environmental surveys. United Environmental Services also offer landscape design and garden design services in Greater Manchester and can provide the materials and implementation work if required. We have a team of experienced surveyors, landscape architects and ground workers who work to a high standard across Greater Manchester.

United Environmental Services are experienced in a wide range of ecological survey work, contact us for more information.

Phase 1 Habitat surveys in Cumbria

Sunday, March 14th, 2010

Phase 1 habitat surveys can be carried out in Cumbria at any time of year however the optimum time of year to carry out habitat surveys is during the spring and summer months when a more complete range of Cumbria’s flora and fauna are active. Phase 1 habitat surveys are used to catalogue the different types of habitat which are found in a given area. The results of the phase 1 habitat survey can then be used to assess the impacts of a development on an area and if necessary to specify if any further survey work is required. An example of this would be if a badger sett was found inside or close to the development area then badger surveys would be recommended, similarly if an area of habitat was found which was suitable for use by breeding birds then potentially breeding bird surveys would have to be completed prior to the start of works. Cumbria has a variety of different habitat types which support a range of different species, from woodlands to urban areas. Phase 1 habitat surveys are usually required prior to the start of development work and can save time as any potential issues with protected species or protected habitats will be highlighted early in the development.

United Environmental Services carry out surveys across Cumbria. The surveys which are carried out in Cumbria include great crested newt surveys, bat surveys, Phase 1 habitat surveys, breeding bird surveys, water vole surveys and a full range of environmental surveys. United Environmental Services also offer landscape design and garden design services in Cumbria and can provide the materials and implementation work if required. We have a team of experienced surveyors, landscape architects and ground workers who work to a high standard across Cumbria.

United Environmental Services are experienced in a wide range of ecological survey work, contact us for more information.