As the Easter break and end of the financial year all but coincide this year, many businesses are focussed on spending residual funds before the year end, on financial planning for the coming year, and on programming projects for consenting or delivery over the next 12 months.

The Landmark Practice’s most concentrated period of field work normally extends from late winter to late autumn.  It starts when our ecologists have to hit the ground running in early March, when the ground warms up after winter, protected species like bats and great crested newts begin to emerge from winter dormancy, and nesting birds set their breeding territories. The survey windows for gathering evidence to inform development are intense from this point onwards.

Landscape architect colleagues in the Practice similarly always find themselves running to keep up in March, with the fieldwork focus on capturing late winter images of potential development sites before fresh leaf cover obscures views that will be critical in the planning balance.

This year things are even more intense.  Late winter snowstorms and plunging temperatures have delayed practical tasks like supervision of groundworks, as well as spring emergence of flora and fauna, and the period available for seasonally limited site surveys is now concentrated into a few short weeks.

The best way to avoid missing critical deadlines is to understand, as early as possible, the environmental project risks around a proposed project, and the type, scope and timing of  any technical studies essential to the grant of development consents. Missing the opportunity to gather data in early spring can (and unfortunately frequently does) delay project consents for a full calendar year.

Investing time now in planning to ensure that the right technical resources are available when needed.  If you would like specific advice on landscape or ecology evidence gathering and design solutions, or even an informal preliminary steer on the scope of evidence required to inform a proposed development, please contact Gemma Melvill on 0117 9230455 or email