The good news is - It's not too Late
What are the Options?
If you are late in starting ecological survey work, what are your choices?
- You could just start survey work late and make up missing months next year – that should be considered a reasonable approach but may negatively impact a project timeline.
- You could look at existing data and use predictive modelling to help plug the gaps. If the development site is not associated with a European designated site, this may allow sufficient confidence for regulators to allow a project to proceed.
- If you are in year 2 of series of surveys and year 1 has shown little impact then this, with some modelling of scenarios may be enough. Aerial mapping holds a wealth of information and closer study may allow surveys to be directed to areas where habitat is considered to be most suitable for target species. SNH have indicated that they may accept a precautionary approach for certain situations, that is, it could be assumed that a particular protected species is present in a particular habitat and therefore if suitable mitigation is incorporated into a development, as if that species is present, then this may be acceptable.
- Additionally, as many sites may have remained closed over the last 9 weeks there is the possibility that nature has re-introduced itself. As such an early site walkover may be a prudent move as sites start to re-open. Our team are here to help and offer advice if this is a concern
Local, ‘Boots’ on the ground critical
With offices in Edinburgh, Inverness and Mold (North Wales) supported by our network of locally based associated there’s never been a better time to buy local!
There is no one size fits all approach - each project needs an individual approach.
These are unprecedented times which require clever solutions and the ability to agree a way forward with regulators. Contact us today to discuss your specific needs and get your project back on track.