• Surveys for wind turbines
  • Ecological assessments for roads

What we offer

Brookside Ecology provides ecological related consultancy services across Cornwall, Devon and Somerset serving a wide variety of clients ranging from householders, small and large developers, utility companies and local authorities.

Free 15 minute consultation

For a free 15 minute consultation on your project send us your contact details and we will call you back to discuss your project and inform you of likely ecological and protected species implications. Knowing likely implications at the start of your project can often save you costly mistakes and will keep you the right side of the law.

Brookside Ecology has qualified, experienced and Natural England licenced ecologists ready to help.

Bat surveys of buildings

Sometimes referred to as a ‘Bat Survey,’ ‘Bat & Barn Owl Survey’ or just a ‘Wildlife Survey’ a Local Planning Authority will often require such a survey where your planning application involves extending your house for further accommodation, converting a building from one use to another or if it is proposed for demolition. Particularly Works involving modifications to rooves and attics has potential to impact protected species such as bats and nesting birds and your planning authority must take account of these.

Such a survey involves a Natural England licenced bat ecologist inspecting your building and assessing it for ‘bat roosting potential’ following the Bat Conservation Trust good practice survey guidelines. A search of the building is undertaken for features that bats might use to roost plus entry and exit points and evidence of their presence.

It is not always possible to identify the full extent of use of a building by bats from just a single visit and sometimes it may require further survey effort. This further survey effort is typically in the form of ‘Emergence’ and ‘Re-entry’ surveys and/or automated remote monitoring.

Brookside Ecology has significant experience in this area and can guide you through the process of survey and assessment and liaise with the local planning authority if necessary.

Contact us if you would like to discuss your requirements for a bat survey. We work across Cornwall, Devon and Somerset.

Bat Emergence & Re-Entry surveys

Bat Emergence and Re-entry surveys are used to identify a number of factors including; the presence of bats in a building, the species, their number and entry and exit points. These types of survey are undertaken between May and September and following the Bat Conservation Trust good practice survey guidance. The information gathered from these surveys is often used to devise a suitable compensation and mitigation strategy and used to support Natural England development licence applications.

Bat Activity Surveys and Automated monitoring

Bat Activity surveys are used to find how a site or area is used by the local bat population. It gathers information on species, their activity level based on bat passes of the microphone and ‘hotspot’ areas within the site.

Automated monitoring uses static ultrasonic recording and detecting units deployed in field sites and in buildings where they are left to record bat activity during a specified period, this might be a week or several months. These ultrasonic recording devices allow us to filter out superfluous sounds and leave only bat calls. They back up the more traditional methods of activity or emergence surveys by allowing dusk to dawn monitoring of a site for as long as required.

Contact us for an informal discussion on your requirement for bat activity surveys. We cover Cornwall, Devon and Somerset.

Preliminary Ecological Assessments, Phase One Habitat Surveys, Wildlife Surveys

These types of survey are known by different names depending on the planning authority. They are more commonly known now as ‘Preliminary Ecological Assessments.’ This type of survey aims to identify the relative value of a site for its flora and fauna and its suitability for particular protected and notable species and habitats. Often an important component of this is the Phase One Habitat map that identifies the different features and habitats of a site and maps them using standard mapping protocols following the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) standard survey methodologies.

The Preliminary Ecological Assessment of a site highlights important information that can be used to inform projects at all stages from the initial planning stage through to final completion. Prior knowledge of potential ecological constraints at the outset can often avoid both costly delays and infringements of wildlife legislation.

Contact us for an informal discussion on your project

Botanical Surveys

We undertake NVC botanical surveys.

Contact us for an informal discussion on your requirement for botanical surveys

Bird Surveys

We undertake all types of bird surveys including: Vantage Point surveys, Point Counts, Breeding Bird Surveys and Territory mapping by experienced ornithologists.

Contact us for an informal discussion on your requirement for bird surveys

Reptiles survey & translocation

If a site is considered to have potential for reptiles, presence/absence surveys are often used to assess the importance of the site for its reptile species. This usually involves the placing of artificial refugia – felt squares or metal ‘tins’ that are spread out across a site where reptiles will seek refuge under if they are present. This involves regular checks throughout the season under each refugia to record whether reptiles are present. This method is also used in site clearance where reptiles are collected each time and translocated to another appropriate site.

Contact us for an informal discussion on your requirement for reptiles surveys

Wetland Ecology

Tim Smith can assist in all matters related to wetland ecology and design, including wetland treatment systems (WTS) for wastewater effluents. He has a proven track record of partnership working with a wide range of clients from Non-Governmental organisations (NGOs) to large public sector bodies, on wetland creation, and wetland restoration or enhancement projects. Our team are highly skilled in liaison with landowners and other stakeholders.

We can undertake feasibility studies during the initial stages of a project, and also provide fully costed concept and detailed designs as appropriate.

Contact us for an informal discussion on your project

Dormouse Survey

We undertake Dormouse assessments of habitat and undertake ‘nest tube’ surveys to determine their presence in the habitat. We can devise a suitable compensation and mitigation strategy and undertake a Natural England licence application if required.

Contact us for an informal discussion on your requirement for Dormouse surveys

Hedge Assessments

We can undertake a full hedge assessment that can determine both its value for wildlife and potential for protected species as well as identify any features that might categorise it as an ‘important’ hedge as defined by the ‘Hedgerow Regulations 1997.’

Contact us for an informal discussion on your requirement for a hedge assessment.

Watching Brief or Ecological Clerk of Works

If your development requires an ecological watching brief whilst specific works are undertaken such as removing a roof of a house where bats are known to be present or clearing a site of vegetation where there is a risk of wildlife being present, then Brookside Ecology has experienced and Natural England licenced ecologists ready to help.

Contact us for an informal discussion on your requirement for a watching brief

For developers

‘The presence of protected species is a material consideration when a planning authority is considering a development proposal that, if carried out, would be likely to result in harm to the species or its habitat.’ Therefore seeking professional guidance from an ecologist even before you go to planning can not only avoid expensive delays in your project but also keep you within the law. We work with the client and encourage a full dialogue to take place in order to achieve the best possible outcome for wildlife and your aims for the development.

Contact us for a free informal discussion and no obligation quote on your project

For wind power and renewable energy developers

Brookside Ecology has significant experience in this field and works for clients ranging from individual farmers seeking to put a small turbine on their land to small and large renewable development companies with multiple sites.

We can undertake an initial Preliminary Ecological Appraisal of a site and inform you of potential implications in terms of protected species and habitats and undertake any follow on survey effort that might be required.

Contact us for a free informal discussion and no obligation quote on your project

Delivering ecological consultancy to Cornwall, Devon and Somerset.