Our experienced consultants can provide expert advice on ecological and environmental issues affecting a broad range of habitats and protected species. Licensed members of our team can deal with great crested newts, bats, badgers, white-clawed crayfish and reptiles. We’re experienced in working with the Habitats Directive and giving evidence at public inquiries. We’re proud of our strong working relationships with Natural England, the Wildlife Trust, Natural Resources Wales and Scottish Natural Heritage.

As specialist consulting ecologists, we can help you play your part in meeting increasingly rigorous legislation by protecting natural and developed terrestrial and aquatic environments. A large part of our work involves impact assessments for development projects including renewable energy, waste, mining, road construction, pipeline development, industrial and commercial development.


Often medium to large development proposals require a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal Report (PEAR). A PEAR includes an extended phase 1 habitat survey and desk-top study and aims to determine what (if any) protected species and habitats are associated with a site. A PEAR also aims to provide appropriate mitigation and compensation measures or to recommend specialist surveys.

The ecology team at Wardell Armstrong offer a wide range of specialist species surveys including: barn owl, bats, badger, dormice, great crested newt, water vole, otter, white-clawed crayfish, breeding birds, wintering birds and habitat assessments including NVC, river corridor surveys and hedgerow assessments.

Ecological Impact Assessments (EcIA) are the ecological aspect of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). EIAs are required to inform certain types of development under the Town and Country Planning (EIA) Regulations 2017. A screening request is submitted to the LPA to determine whether an EIA is required. If required, the scope of the EIA is determined through a ‘scoping opinion request’. The aim of an EcIA is to determine the significance of potential effects resulting from a proposed development.

By engaging with the ecology team at an early stage, proposals can be designed to ensure that appropriate mitigation and compensation is incorporated.

Some protected species require a licence to allow development to lawfully proceed. There are a host of different licence types from personal licences which allow the named ecologist to act across a range of development sites to site specific licences which permit activities on the site in question.

The Wardell Armstrong ecology team have a broad range of experience in protected species licensing and mitigation from preparing bat and barn owl licences for residential schemes to great crested newt licences for quarries. The team can provide a wholistic service from initial survey to the preparation of complex mitigation schemes.

Wardell Armstrong is also experienced in Habitat Management Plans which are often required for licence applications.

Some activities require supervision by an ecologist to ensure that protected and habitats are protected during construction works whether that be actions covered under a protected species licence or as part of reasonable avoidance measures. For example, an ecologist can supervise works near a badger sett to ensure that the tunnels and chambers are safeguarded while allowing development to proceed.

Wardell Armstrong ecologists have acted as Ecological Clerk of Works (EcOW) on a range of development sites.

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