Survey Seasons

Planning Ahead

Why planning in advance for your protected species surveys is so important

One of the most frequent frustrations encountered by developers arises from a failure to appreciate early enough that surveys for protected species can only be successfully completed at certain times of the year. These so called 'optimal survey periods' can be short lived, for example great crested newt surveys can only be completed between March to May when the adults are in the breeding ponds. Miss the window of opportunity for species surveys and you could find yourself having to wait up to a year before you have the necessary information to allow determination of your planning application.

As you might expect most species surveys are completed during the spring and summer periods when the animals are most active, and thus field ecologists are especially busy at this time of year. Badger surveys, on the other hand, are best completed during the winter months when their setts are easier to detect.

Thankfully so called 'Phase 1 Habitats Surveys' can be completed at any time during the year. So if you want an initial walkover appraisal to flag up what wildlife interst could be present on your site, SESS can do that for you immediatly.

The table (right) summarises the survey seasons for each animal group or individual species. There is a lot of information to take in, so we suggest you print off your own copy and you can keep it on your desk or file for future reference.

Optimal Timing for carrying out Specialist Ecological Surveys

SeasonsChart Larger Version for Printing