Ecological surveys are subject to seasonal constraints – some species can only be identified when they are active (fauna) and above ground (flora).
Certain surveys, such as inspections of trees for bat activity, can be undertaken at any time of year, but are most productive and cost effective in winter when trees are not in leaf. For some species, multiple surveys may be required and which may need to be spread throughout the survey season.
Understanding when survey evidence can be gathered to inform a planning application is therefore critical to informed project programming.
The ecology surveys calendar below summarises the optimum survey periods for habitats and commonly encountered protected and notable species. Although it is sometimes possible to undertake surveys outside the optimum periods, the quality of data collected and its validity to inform the planning process may be compromised.