Development projects can sometimes impact habitats and species on a site. Where possible mitigation measures, such as timing of works or protecting individual animals, will be undertaken to limit impacts. However often loss of habitat cannot be avoided completely. In these cases compensation measures will be required, in the form of habitat creation works. EMEC Ecology are able to offer advice on all aspects of habitat creation, and our in-house team at EMEC Land Management can carry out the practical conservation works on site.
Planning departments often look for ecological gain within planning applications, and EMEC Ecology are able to design enhancement measures suited to a site. Once planning is granted, we can also undertake the installation of the enhancement measures via EMEC Land Management.
If a protected species survey or Preliminary Ecological Appraisal finds evidence of protected species (and their habitat is to be lost or impacted), we can assist in the design and the creation of features suitable for this species. Sometime this may be as simple as the inclusion of bird and bat boxes on the exterior of a new building, or on a nearby mature tree. However, for larger projects compensation and enhancement measures may include habitat creation works such as pond construction, provision of bat flight lines (hedgerow planting), installation of barn owl boxes and hibernacula for amphibians and reptiles.
EMEC Land Management, assisted by our ecologists, has been involved in the design and creation of an artificial badger setts in Nottingham city centre and Leicestershire countryside, as well as numerous bat roosting sites, including heated bat lofts and the creation of bat lofts suitable for brown long-eared bats in Leicestershire and Derbyshire.The Land Management team have also designed and constructed an artificial otter holts in Newark-on-Trent, and at Rufford Country Park in Nottinghamshire.
As part of BREEAM Ecology, credits are awarded to developments that result in no net loss of biodiversity across the site. This is measured as the average number of floral species per metre squared. Additional credits can be gained by demonstrating an increase in the number of floral species per metre squared across the site. Frequently, this will require the planting of additional species, in compensation for the area lost to development. It may require the creation of an entirely new habitat. EMEC Ecology can provide advice on achievable ways of gaining these credits through a BREEAM and can offer suggestions as to appropriate seed mixes. EMEC Ecology can also give guidance as to the future management of the habitat in order to ensure it is maintained within the site. This may also result in additional credits as part of the BREEAM.