A planning authority may require an ecological survey to provide information on the ecological value of a site or the presence of protected species. The aim of these surveys is to determine how a proposed development might affect the existing flora and fauna on the site. These developments may include one-off houses, housing estates, road works, wind farms, quarries, hotels, golf courses, landfills or other projects.

BioLogiQ provides tailored monitoring services, surveys and reports to suit the needs of each project. It is recommended that ecological concerns be addressed as early as possible in any proposed project to lower the chances of costly delays by identifying potential issues and incorporating mitigation measures at the project design stage.

Appropriate Assessments (AA) are required where a development may potentially impact a site of European importance such as a Special Protection Area (SPA) or Special Areas of Conservation (SAC). These can be required for everything from one-off house builds within a given distance of a tributary of a SAC river to larger commercial, housing and infrastructure developments.

A Stage 1 Screening for Appropriate Assessment identifies the likely impacts upon a Natura 2000 site of a plan, and considers whether these impacts are likely to be significant. If impacts are determined to be significant then a Stage 2 Appropriate Assessment considers the impact on the integrity of the Natura 2000 site with respect to the site’s structure and function and its conservation objectives and identifies appropriate mitigation measures to prevent these.

Freshwater biological water quality assessments are an essential part of water resource management due to their effectiveness in establishing the true health of a body of water. In essence, the presence and numbers of indicator species are calculated against a number of standard biotic indices to provide a baseline biological water quality rating for a watercourse, with the most commonly used being the EPA’s Q-value methodology.

This can be used to measure compliance with the EU Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EEC) with respect to ecological status for projects that may potentially affect surface waters such as construction work, licensed abstractions or, where they are performed upstream and downstream, to demonstrate the effectiveness of water treatment measures for IPPC-licensed sites. Our freshwater biological water quality assessments are a rapid, cost-effective service, providing you with accurate and robust data on your impact on the aquatic environment.

A desktop study may be carried out to obtain a better understanding of the habitats and species present on a site. This involves compiling available data from local and national sources to investigate the presence or likelihood of protected species or areas such as SACs, SPAs and NHAs.

An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) forms an important part of many large scale projects to help understand the impact a proposed development will have on the area. Key steps undertaken for an EIA include:

  • Screening of proposal,
  • Baseline surveys,
  • Evaluation of options.
  • Impact prediction.
  • Choice of options.
  • Design mitigation.
  • Reporting of Environmental Statement.
  • Implementation,
  • Monitoring and audit.

A habitat survey is the first step in assessing the ecological value of a site. It is often required by a planning authority to accompany a planning application or to form part of an Environmental Impact Statement. Typically, it is carried out at an early stage in the development of a plan or project. This process usually involves:

  • Reviewing existing desktop information and conducting a brief site inspection
  • Identifying and evaluating any potential ecological constraints (e.g. protected areas, structures that may be used by bats etc.)
  • Consulting with relevant public authorities (where appropriate)
  • Assessing whether any additional surveys or reports may be required.

The careful management of habitats for conservation can create new or conserve existing habitats. Habitat Management Plans are designed on a site-specific basis and over a suitable time period. They usually include an initial site assessment which entails collating detailed ecological data of a site, the surrounding area, reviewing past records and designing a working management plan.

We offer other services depending on your project requirements including invertebrate surveys, hedgerow surveys, invasive species surveys, toolbox talks and so on.

We can provide toolbox talks to construction workers, school environmental classes for biodiversity or environmental weeks and classes on ecology. With our extensive training expertise we are adept at designing and delivering tailored training courses to develop our clients’ ecological knowledge.

If you need any of the services listed above or just need to discuss options for your organisation, contact our team who will guide you through the process of meeting your requirements.

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For more information on how we can save you money, call us on 087 9678 372 or email info@biologiq.ie.
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