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Ecological Impact Assessment

A comprehensive assessment technique that evaluates the potential impacts of your proposals on the ecological components of a site and is often required on larger projects. Consultation at an early stage can greatly assist in the decision making process, including consideration of options. This strategy is reflected in advanced guidance documents like the Highways Agency ‘Design Manual for Roads and Bridges’ (DMRB).

Alpha can bring experience of the following developments, amongst others:

The Ecology Chapter to the Environmental Statement is prepared detailing industry standard methods employed to evaluate and quantify any potential impact upon ecological receptor. Detailed mitigation and compensatory measures are prescribed, considered necessary to bring these impacts within acceptable limits, alongside recommendations for monitoring and further work.

Enhancements to habitats may be required, representing a positive impact, and this is likely to be beneficial to the project overall by demonstrating good practice in environmental management.

All ecological works can be fully supervised and site briefings given to contractors and project managers.

Appropriate Assessment

Areas of the countryside can be designated for the conservation of European Protected Species (EPS) under relevant European Commission Directives. For birds these are known as Special Protection Areas (SPA), designated under the Birds Directive, and for other species the name Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) is used, designated under the Habitats Directive (see information links below).

Proposals within or adjacent to these Designated Sites that may alter the ecology fundamental to the continued existence of Protected Species (Continued Ecological Functionality – CEF), will require an evaluation of ecological impact sufficient for an Appropriate Assessment to be undertaken by the competent authority, aided by the Statutory Nature Conservation Organisation (SNCO).

Alpha can bring experience of specialist supervision for Designated Sites such as SACs, for all works including Ground Investigation and enabling works, and implementation of mitigation.

BREEAM

Designed to uphold the principles of sustainable development in the UK, the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) offers a Credit-based framework within which developers can achieve environmentally sustainable building through the design process.

We will work with your BREEAM Assessor and Landscape Architects to maximise the credits awarded for your scheme, whether your site is urban, sub-urban or rural. Using our extensive knowledge of habitats and species, we can review the landscape context and help create the appropriate habitats.

Our approach is simple and brief - your site will be surveyed specifically for the BREEAM assessment methodology and the findings relayed to you or your Landscape professionals in a timely fashion to progress your project schedule. A short report will be written containing a site assessment and all recommendations. We will advise you on how to maximise the ecological value by including native species into your existing landscape plans. We will make the whole process as simple and efficient as possible.


Selected sources of information and standard methods