Ecology Services for London and South East England

Microbee specialises in a wide range of Ecological Surveys and Ecology services. Our in-house Ecologists and Biologists are highly qualified and passionate about providing safe habitats, creating environmental balance as well as safeguarding or relocating protected species.

Ecology and Land Development

Ecology Surveys are becoming more common and often required by Local Authorities to support the planing process, and measure the impact of land development on the environment.

 

Our team also work closely with Architects, Property Developers, Landscape Architects, Construction Companies and Land Owners.

Ecology Services - Microbee

Ecological Services

Ecology Survey - Microbee Ecology 01-min

If you suspect you have an endangered species on site our Ecologists will undertake an in-depth assessment for you to confirm populations and recommendations.

 

Our team offer a wide range of surveys including:

 

  • Wildlife Surveys: European Protected Species – Bats, great crested newts, otters, dormice, reptiles. Others – badgers, hedgehogs, water voles, barn owls, birds.
  • Habitat surveys – Ecological walkover, Phase 1 Habitat Survey/Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA), BREAMM assessment
  • Licensing/mitigation procedures – these services are required when development plans will interfere with EPS wildlife mentioned above. Licenses are required for LPA.

All our survey work is based on industry standards and statutory requirements. For more information on our range of surveys or if you would like to discuss your requirements or would like to arrange a site visit with one of our ecologists contact our team.

Habitat Creation - Microbee Ecology 01-min
Habitat Creation

When a site has not been maintained and needs to be brought back to a manageable state, usually via green waste removal etc. speak to our team. We can provide a range of habitat services including reptile/newt fencing, native tree planting, pond creation (including reed bed design), wildflower meadow creation, habitat creation for specific species ie long grass margins for reptiles.

Moss art/living walls/green roofs

Our ecology team can create new spaces or maintain existing ‘green’ areas. Becoming increasingly popular with designers of modern urban spaces our team can advise on new installations or assist managing agents on existing installs.

For further information contact our Ecology team.

Nest Box - Microbee Ecology 01-min
Nest Box

We can install nest boxes for birds and mammals, (bats and hedgehogs). Each year we will return to carry out an annual clean, inspection and reporting back on the uptake. Our team will create bespoke programs to increase biodiversity on site. Managing agents are increasingly looking for ways to enhance developments and get ‘green’ points for their sites.

Nest boxes are cost effective and bring value to residents of a development. Not only do nest boxes encourage the right wildlife to an area they also provide protection from urban foxes.

For further information contact out Ecology Team

Water Management - Microbee Ecology 01-min

Whether a natural feature or man-made our Ecology team will monitor water samples and analyse chemical balance in pools and natural ponds. This is especially important to the health of fish. Our ecologists also provide mosquito treatment and monitoring.

Our team can create pond or lakes and offer full wildlife management, we also offer algae removal services.

If you have a water feature or are looking to install one contact our Ecology team to discuss further.

Bee Relocation - Microbee Ecology 01-min

Whether you have bats or honey bees our ecology team are on hand to safely remove and relocate endangered species from your site.

If you have a protected species on your property/site then contact our Ecology Team

Wildlife Surveys

We can provide wildlife surveys for all European Protected Species (EPS) and other animals, such as badgers, water voles and barn owls, which are all protected by law. These types of survey are a legal requirement if any protected animal is present on a development site, and are included as part of a planning application.

From small residential properties to large-scale developments, we can help both private and commercial clients with the right survey to support your planning application.

Remember that surveys for certain species (such as bats, great crested newt) can only be carried out at certain times of the year.

Bat Survey - Microbee Ecology

Bat Survey

Bat Surveys

are one of the most common wildlife surveys required, as they can roost inside buildings that are due to be demolished. They can also be found all over England inside trees, other types of built structures, and other interesting locations such as disused railway tunnels. Bats are a European Protected Species and are fully protected by law.

Preliminary Bat Survey (PBS)

This is the first stage, and can be carried out at any time of year. A survey is comprised of an internal and external check of the property or tree(s). The ecologist is looking for any evidence of bats, or signs that any features of the site can support roosting, commuting and foraging bats.

Emergence & Re-Entry Surveys

If a PBS provides evidence that a site may support bats, then emergence/re-entry surveys will be required. These can only be carried out between May-September; therefore proper planning by the developer is crucial. Ecologist watch for bats leaving and/or re-entering the roost. These surveys can confirm bat species, population estimates, roost type and access points.

Mitigation (European Protected Species Licence)

If emergence surveys confirm the presence of bats, then an EPSL will need to be applied for by a licensed ecologist. Bat mitigation can include replacement roosts, installation of bat boxes, and general habitat management for bats, such as minimising light pollution and retaining bat-friendly foraging habitat. These types of works are generally very time sensitive depending on the season, so pre-planning is essential to avoid delays to development.

Our Ecology Team work with experienced, licensed bat workers who can carry out all the different types of survey, as per the BCT Good Practice Guidelines. All surveys as standard are followed up with a detailed report analysis including biological records data.

If you would like to discuss your requirements or would like to arrange a site visit with one of our ecologists contact our team.

Newt Survey - Microbee Ecology

Newt Survey

Great Crested Newt Surveys

are another commonly requested ecological survey. They are an EPS are and fully protected by law. Surveys are required when demolition or extension works are required where ponds and surrounding land will be impacted (all ponds within 500m of the site). The newts breed in ponds in the spring, and require suitable terrestrial habitat at other times of the year, such as log piles and long grass. The stages of a survey are as follows:

Habitat Suitability Index (HIS) Assessment

These follow a strict 10 point assessment where a score is generated at the end; this determines the likelihood that GCN are present. Some aspects (such as geographical location) can help to discount some ponds, for example, GCN are extremely sparse in the SW of England. Further surveys may be required if a score of 0.5 or above is calculated

Environmental DNA (eDNA) Sampling

This is a relatively new type of survey in recent years, and is useful for quickly establishing presence/absence of GCN in a pond. Water samples are taken and sent off for laboratory testing.

Presence/absence surveys, population assessment

Surveyors search for evidence of GCN using approved methods such as bottle trapping, egg searching and torching. Four separate visits are required between March-May, with a further two surveys required before June if GCN are found for population assessment. Surveys must be led by an experienced, licensed ecologist.

Mitigation (European Protected Species Licence)

If surveys confirm the presence of GCN, then an EPSL will need to be applied for by a licensed ecologist. Works will need to be timed to minimise impacts on GCN. Mitigation works can involve provision of replacement ponds or terrestrial habitat, installation of GCN resting places (such as log piles) and general habitat management.

Our Ecology Team work with experienced, licensed GCN workers who can carry out all the different types of survey. All surveys as standard are followed up with a detailed report analysis including biological records data.

For further information contact our Ecology team.

Dormouse Survey - Microbee Ecology

Dormouse Survey

Dormouse Survey

Dormice are secretive animals that nest in woodlands and hedgerows. They are an EPS, and are fully protected by law. They are quite rare, and unfortunately, while they have a wide range across England, their populations are spread thin.

If suitable dormouse habitat is present on a development site, then a full set of surveys will be required. The most reliable method is to place dormouse nest tubes out on the site, and check these regularly, typically from around April – October.

If surveys confirm the presence of dormice, then an EPSL will need to be applied for by a licensed ecologist. Mitigation/enhancement generally involves timing the proposed works carefully, sometimes over several seasons, and working around the dormouse where possible. In extreme circumstance, the dormice may need to be relocated.

Our Ecology Team work with experienced, licensed dormice workers who can carry out surveying for dormice. All surveys as standard are followed up with a detailed report analysis including biological records data.

For further information contact out Ecology Team

Otter Survey - Microbee Ecology

Otter Survey

Otter & Water Vole Survey

Otters and water voles are the two types of semi-aquatic mammals that can be found on our water bodies, mainly on rivers. Otters are an EPS and are fully protected by law. Water voles have faced a very serious, significant decline of over 90% over the past 20 years, and are now fully protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended).

If any construction or demolition works will impact on a slow-moving water body, such as river, canals and lakes then a full survey will be required. This includes work on bridges and river banks. As both animals are quite elusive, surveys focus on searching for signs of the animal. For otters, signs include footprints, spraints, holts and slides. The surrounding habitat is also surveyed. These can be carried out at any time of year.

For water voles, signs include feeding remains, latrines, footprints and grazed ‘lawns’. Surveys are best carried out during the breeding season, which runs from mid-April to mid-September. If any proposed works may impact upon otters or water voles (or their breeding sites) then a licence will be required.

Our Ecology Team work with experienced, mammal ecologists who can carry out surveying for otters and water voles. All surveys as standard are followed up with a detailed report analysis.

If you are interested in an Otter or Water Vole Survey contact our Ecology team to discuss further.

Reptile Survey - Microbee Ecology

Reptile Survey

Reptile Survey

We have only six species of reptile in the UK; two of these (sand lizard and smooth snake) are very rare and only found at certain sites in the UK. They are both EPS and are therefore fully protected by law. The remaining four species (slow worm, common lizard, grass snake & adder) are protected from killing, injuring and sale.

For the four common reptile species, the best survey method is to place down artificial refugia (usually squares of roofing felt) across the site in question. These must be checked 5-7 times between May-September in suitable weather conditions (July & August can be sub-optimal months for surveys as the weather can be too hot). These surveys can determine species present, population assessment and site use. If present on site then mitigation works follow, usually a combination of habitat management, reptile fencing, and trans-location.

Surveys for sand lizards or smooth snakes must be carried out by a licensed worker, and a European Protected Species Licence would need to be obtained if any were found.

Our Ecology Team work with experienced, reptile ecologists who can carry out surveying for reptiles. All surveys as standard are followed up with a detailed report analysis.

If you have a protected species on your property/site then contact our Ecology Team

Badger Survey - Microbe Ecology

Badger Survey

Badger Survey

Badgers are protected by law under The Protection of Badgers Act 1992. It is illegal to:

  • Wilfully kill, injure, or take any badger;
  • Possess or cruelly ill-treat a badger;
  • Possess or control a living, healthy badger;
  • Possess any dead badger or part of one;
  • Intentionally or recklessly damage, destroy or obstruct access to a sett, or disturb a badger whilst it is occupying a sett.

Badgers are one of the UK’s most common mammals, though they are seldom seen unless you go looking for them! They can occur in a wide range of habitats, and are frequently found in close proximity to development site. An initial survey determines if badgers are using the site and if there are any setts on site or adjacent. If badgers are thought to be present then a full survey would need to be carried out. These consist of many visits over several months, utilising camera traps, sand traps and hair traps to determine to use of the sett.

If mitigation works were required then a licence would be required from Natural England. Works often involve partially closing sett entrances, or relocating the badger family, often with the use of an alternative sett site close by. These works should only be carried out during the badgers’ least active period of July-November.

Our Ecology Team work with experienced, badger ecologist who can carry out surveying for badgers and appropriate mitigation techniques. All surveys as standard are followed up with a detailed report analysis.

If you are concerned you may have Badgers on your property/site then contact our Ecology Team

Bird Survey - Microbee Ecology

Bird Survey

Breeding Bird Survey

All wild birds, their nests and their young are protected during the breeding season under The Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981. This generally runs from March-August, although birds can still breed outside of these months.

Any trees/hedgerow that needs to be removed should be surveyed for breeding birds by a competent ecologist. Surveys consist of standard techniques, including searching for nests and birds displaying obvious breeding behaviour.

Our Ecology Team work with experienced bird ecologists who can carry out surveying for breeding birds. All surveys as standard are followed up with a detailed report analysis.

If you would like to find out more then contact our Ecology Team

Barn Owl Survey - Microbee Ecology

Barn Owl Survey

Barn Owl Survey

Barn Owls are protected under The Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981, making it illegal to disturb them while nesting. As their name suggests, they can often be found in old barns and houses. An initial walkover survey determines the value of the site to barn owls, as well as looking for signs of use.

If they were found to be present then further mitigation works, usually in the form of an alternative nesting/roosting site, or barn owl box would be required.

If you suspect you have Barn Owls on your land and would like to know more simply contact our Ecology Team

Our Ecology Credentials

The Microbee Ecology team are friendly professionals trained to a very high level. We hold a wealth of industry-specific certifications so you can be sure you are in good hands.

 

  • Microbee has BSc, MSc, MRes and PhD qualified specialists who are experts in a wide variety of environmental management services.
  • All our Biologists, Zoologists and Ecologists have a Bachelor of Science, Master of Science or Doctorate degrees.
  • Specialist staff have role specific training and qualifications such as phase 1 and 2 habitat surveyor.
  • Many of our Technicians are security cleared to work on Government premises.
  • All our staff work in a discreet way when on our clients’ premises.
  • CHAS accredited, UVDB registered, Safe Contractor, Safe4site accredited and many more.

Get in touch

To find out more about our services, or to arrange an appointment call us today on:

 020 8540 9968

 

Alternatively, complete the contact form below and a member of our team will be in touch.

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