Read our Frequently Asked Questions. Common questions that provide a quick answer to your ecological and wildlife queries.
Q1) I’ve been asked by the Local Planning Authority to provide a biodiversity survey, what does this mean?
When determining planning applications the local planning authority (LPA) has a responsibility to ensure that the proposals will not impact upon legally protected wildlife and habitats. Depending on your development proposals and the location of your site, the LPA may require an ecology report to be submitted with your planning application. Different authorities or planning officers sometimes use different terms for ecological surveys. You may be asked for a specific survey such as a bat survey or you may be asked for something more generic like a biodiversity survey, ecology survey or habitat survey.
CES Ecology can review your site and advise on the most appropriate type of survey. Usually most sites require an extended phase 1 habitat survey but this isn’t always the case. Contact a member of the CES team to discuss your development project.
Q2) I need a newt survey, when can this be done?
Great crested newt surveys can only be carried out between mid-March and mid-June when newts return to their breeding pond. However, not all developments need a full GCN survey. In certain circumstances a GCN appraisal (which can be done at almost any time of year) may be sufficient. Please contact a member of the CES team to discuss your project.
Q3) How much do you charge for a survey?
Our fees are based on a number of things. The 3 main points we consider are:
- Who will carry out the survey? Certain species require a licence and so can only be carried out by particular members of our team.
- How long will the survey take? The time needed to carry out the survey depends on the location of the site and how complex the site is. A smaller site with lots of different habitats often takes longer to survey than larger simpler sites.
- How long will the report take to write?
Q4) Can bat surveys be done in the winter?
Bat activity and dusk emergence/dawn re-entry surveys are restricted to the late spring, summer and early autumn. However, internal surveys of buildings which involve searching for evidence of bats can be carried out at any time of year. Bat roost potential assessments of trees are actually best done in the winter when leaves don’t obscure the view of the trunk and branches. Further information regarding bat surveys is available in the bat page of the Surveys and Assessments section.
Q5) Do you do tree surveys?
Arboricultural surveys differ from ecological surveys and should be conducted by a specialist arboricultural consultant. The Arboricultural Association have a directory of local specialists.
Q6) How quickly can you do a survey? When can I have my report?
CES can typically conduct a survey within five to ten working days with the report available within a further five to ten working days. If however your project is subject to particular time constraints, please let us know as we may be able to work to your deadline.
Q7) Do you install temporary amphibian fencing (TAF)?
Yes. CES have an in-house field team that install and maintain TAF and other types of wildlife exclusion fencing. This in-house service ensures excellent quality control and minimises response times.
Q8) I have planning permission but need a licence. What does this mean?
In order for some developments to lawfully proceed a licence is required by Natural England or Natural Resources Wales. These licences are site specific and will relate to a particular species. Please refer to the species pages of the Surveys and Assessments section for further information or contact us to discuss your particular project.
Q9) My site isn’t in Cheshire, can you survey it?
Yes. The CES office is based between Whitchurch and Chester and we typically work in Cheshire and surrounding counties such as Wrexham, Shropshire, Greater Manchester and Lancashire. However, depending on the location of your project it may be more cost effective for you to contact your local Wildlife Trust Consultancy (www.wtconsultancies.co.uk ).