Abrehart Ecology’s Habitat Services

 

Abrehart Ecology is able to provide a comprehensive advisory service for a wide range of habitats including surveys, sampling, GIS, site management support and training. Our ecologists have experience in surveying a variety of habitats including aquatic and coastal habitats, freshwater marshes and heath lands, woodlands and grasslands. We have experience in a wide range of survey techniques including but not limited to; National Vegetation Classification surveys, Extended Phase 1 habitat surveys, mapping and invasive species survey and eradication which allows us to provide an in depth and high quality habitat monitoring service.

Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA) / Phase 1 Habitat Survey

Our Phase 1 surveys (increasingly referred to as a PEA within the planning sector) provide clients with an overview of the habitats present, a comprehensive list of plant species for their site (depending upon the time of year) and is often extended to include the potential of a site to support legally protected species. This is an invaluable tool for assessing impacts, monitoring and planning mitigation or enhancement for a site.  The survey can also be used to inform future monitoring and updating if it is required for further development of the site.  Phase 1 surveys can be undertaken all year round, however, they are best undertaken in spring and summer.

We would always advise commissioning such a survey well in advance when planning your site development, to allow time for any necessary targeted surveys for protected species, which are often restricted to specific times of year.

National Vegetation Classification (NVC)

The National Vegetation Classification was developed as an effective tool for mapping habitats according to a standardised, national data set. Through the use of systematic vegetation sampling by quadrats in conjunction with recent aerial photography, we can provide you with a detailed map of the plant communities for a site. We can also evaluate changes in the vegetation of the site through comparing a new survey with a previous survey. In addition to this standard mapping our extensive skills in identification of all groups of flora and fauna also means that we are able to provide supplementary information to the habitat maps and that we are able to advise on the processes occurring within the site. The results of NVC survey results are commonly used by site managers to; assess the condition of the site and features against national targets, inform habitat management and restoration plans and to assess changes in the site over time.

Aquatic habitat surveys

Aquatic invertebrates and macrophytes are important biological indicators of water quality. Abrehart Ecology’s aquatic invertebrate surveys are undertaken to comply with the high Environment Agency survey standards. Our staff have vast experience undertaking surveys of individual water bodies (ponds, lakes and meres) and water courses. Our laboratory and excellent identification skills allow quick and efficient appraisal of communities which are important biological indicators of water quality.

We are also able to offer water and soil chemical analysis to provide further information on habitat quality

Coastal habitats

Abrehart Ecology has a wealth of experience and knowledge in coastal habitats through working with saltmarshes, coastal lagoons, and sea wall developments. Through this experience Abrehart Ecology is able to offer monitoring and advisory services for condition assessment, management and habitat improvement of coastal habitats. By combining our ecologists’ knowledge of coastal invertebrates and habitats with the plant survey methods described above and our mapping service we are able to offer a complete suite of ecological services for coastal habitats and their management.

Invasive species surveys and eradication

Abrehart Ecology is experienced in working with invasive species, such as Japanese knotweed Fallopia japonica, giant hogweed Heracleum mantegazzianum, and we can effectively advise our clients on how to deal with different invasive plant species. Our GIS mapping capabilities will allow us to look at the spatial distribution of the plants to provide a more tailored advice service if required and we are experienced in providing advice for invasive species eradication and control. For more information about invasive species visit Plantlife pages for invasive species and contact us to discuss any invasive species queries, survey and eradication needs.