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Protected Species Surveys
Fast response, highest standard, unbeatable value
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Ecology Surveys
Fast response, highest standard, unbeatable value
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Bat Surveys
Fast response, highest standard, unbeatable value
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About Simlaw Ecology

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About Simlaw Ecology

Simlaw Ecology specialise in finding ecological solutions for our diverse client base. We work closely with homeowners, developers, agents, charities and multi-disciplinary consultancies to deliver the highest standard of ecology services, quickly and at competitive prices.

Based in Dorking, in the heart of the Surrey Hills, Simlaw Ecology is well placed to deliver ecology services throughout Surrey, Sussex, Kent, London and the whole of the southeast, but some projects take us much farther afield.

Simlaw Ecology specialises in habitat surveysprotected species surveys and BREEAM assessments for domestic and commercial developments.

We pride ourselves in our personal, commercially-aware and results-driven approach to projects, and we work closely with our diverse and always growing client base to ensure the successful and timely delivery of their projects.

Contact us on the details below to discuss your project

T: 01306 898 400 (Dorking office)

M: 07826 856 356 (Daniel, Principal Ecologist)

E: info@simlawecology.uk

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Contact us

Contact us now to discuss your project

T: 01306 898 400 (Dorking office)

M: 07826 856 356 (Daniel, Principal Ecologist)

E: info@simlawecology.uk

Alternatively, you can use the contact form below and a member of our friendly team will get back to you today.

Protected Species

What are protected species? 

Protected species include badgers, bats, breeding birds, dormice, great crested newt, otter, reptiles and water vole that are subject to protection under EU and/or UK legislation.

The Preliminary Ecological Appraisal may identify evidence of, or habitats with the potential to support, protected species within your site. The results of the appraisal will inform the requirement for Phase 2 Protected Species surveys.

Why do I need Phase 2 Protected Species surveys?

Phase 2 Protected Species surveys are required to avoid impacts to protected species through the development process. They will enable appropriate mitigation measures to be designed and implemented, ensuring that your development proceeds lawfully.

The presence of some protected species may require a European Protected Species Mitigation (EPSM) licence to be sought from Natural England before works commence on site.

How can Simlaw Ecology help?

Simlaw Ecology can provide expert advice on the survey, mitigation and licensing requirements for a range of protected species, including Bats, Dormice, Badgers, Reptiles, Great Crested Newts, Otter, Water vole, and Breeding Birds.

Contact us now for advice…

Bat Surveys

Why are bat surveys needed?

All UK bat species, and their roosts, receive protection under The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 (as amended) and the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended).

These legislative tools make it illegal to harm or disturb bats, or to cause damage or destruction of their roosts. Bat surveys are therefore required to identify the presence or likely absence of bats with sites proposed for development. 

The requirement for bat surveys can be triggered by the findings of a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal or other baseline ecology survey. The appraisal may identify buildings, trees or other structures that have the potential to support roosting bats. Further bat surveys would then be necessary to confirm whether bats are present or not. 

Our Bat Team and Services

Bat surveys are one of Simlaw Ecology’s specialisms. Our bat team is led by Director and Principal Ecologist Daniel Simmons, who has been honing his academic and field knowledge of bat ecology since 2008 and has been using his experience to design and expertly implement commercial bat surveys across the development sector ever since.

Daniel has held a ‘Level II Bat Survey Class licence’ since 2014 and was  registered by Natural England to use the ‘Bat Mitigation Class Licence’ in 2020, meaning that, where eligible, bat licensing requirements can be delivered quicker than normal. 

Types of bat services we provide

Below is a brief summary of the most common types of bat survey and their purpose:

  • Preliminary Roost Assessment: a daytime visit to inspect buildings or other structures for evidence of a bat roost and to fully assess their potential to support roosting bats.
  • Bat Activity Surveys: nocturnal bat surveys are used assess the likely effects of a larger scale development on a resident bat population.
  • Presence or likely Absence Surveys: dusk/pre-dawn surveys that establish whether bats are present in a feature (i.e. a building, other structure or tree) that has been assessed as suitable to support a bat roost during a daytime assessment.
  • Roost Characterisation Surveys: required if you have a known roost on your proposed development site. These surveys determine how bats use the roost and the level of importance the roost holds for any bats that are using it. This information is required to inform an application to Natural England for a European Protected Species Mitigation (EPSM) licence that will allow your development to proceed lawfully.
  • Bat Tree Assessments: The assessment of trees for their potential to support roosting bats is carried out over two stages. First, a ground-based tree assessment will be carried out to look for potential bat roosting features, then, members of our experienced climbing team will climb the trees to carry out a close inspection for bats, or evidence of them.
  • European Protected Species Mitigation Bat Licensing: If a project will result unavoidable impacts to bats, or their roosts, then our experienced team can ensure that bat licence is obtained so that the proposed works can be carried out lawfully.
  • Bat Mitigation Class Licensing: Our principal Ecologist is registered to use a Bat Mitigation Class Licence, meaning that, in certain situations where a bat licence is required, these can be obtained much faster than normal. 

How you will receive your results

Sound professional judgement enables the survey brief and methodology to be adapted on a case by case basis, ensuring that you only commission the surveys you need and that they are fit for whatever purpose your project requires, be it planning consent or legal compliance.

When to time your bat surveys

Preliminary Bat Roost Assessments and Bat Tree Assessments can be carried out at any time of the year. However, all nocturnal bat surveys are subject to timing constraints, so consider booking them at the very beginning of your planning process to ensure the project is kept on track.

  • A suitably licensed and qualified person can carry out climbed tree inspections, at any time of the year. However, the optimal time for these surveys is between November and April, when trees are not in leaf.
  • Bat activity and presence/likely surveys can be undertaken between May and September (optimal survey period May to August).
  • Hibernation surveys can be undertaken between November and March.
  • Timing constraints apply to some works under EPSM bat licence (such as removal of a bat roost in order to facilitate a development) can only be carried out between March and April or between September and November.

Contact us now to book a survey…

Ecology Surveys

What are ecology surveys?

If you’ve been asked to provide an Ecology survey with your application it is likely that the Local Authority requires an Ecological Scoping Survey, Preliminary Ecological Appraisal or Ecological Impact Assessment. These surveys will identify the broad habitats within your site and assess the likelihood for protected/invasive species to present.

Why do I need an ecology survey?

The information collected during an ecology survey is required by the Local Planning Authority to demonstrate that a proposed development is not at risk of impacting protected habitats, species, or nearby conservation sites.

How will I receive this information?

As each application is different, Simlaw Ecology’s friendly and professional team will keep in close contact with you throughout the process. We ensure that the work undertaken and the resulting report are exactly fit for purpose, no more or less than what is required for you to achieve planning permission. The service is designed to deliver a single report which will provide the Local Planning Authority with all the ecological information they require to determine your application.

Reports we produce include:

  • Ecological Scoping Survey for smaller sites, or those with lower impacts)
  • Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (sites which, after the habitat survey, require no further protected species surveys)
  • Ecological Impact Assessment (Sites where protected species surveys have been carried out)

All reports are written in compliance with the latest guidelines on ecological reporting and industry good practice.

When do I need to schedule an ecology survey?

Ecology surveys can be carried out at any time of the year. However, the ecology survey should be booked early in the project timeline. This is to ensure that any necessary Phase 2 Protected Species surveys can be carried out at the appropriate time of year, without causing disruption to the development schedule.

Contact us now to book a survey…

We have successfully delivered projects for:

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