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Case Study

Ecology Survey in Birkenhead for Wirral Council

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Arbtech was commissioned by Wirral Council to carry out a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA) including Roost Assessment (PRA) for a project in Birkenhead town centre. A PEA survey can also be referred to as a Phase 1 Habitat Survey and Protected Species Survey. The PRA element can also be referred to as a Phase One Bat Survey and Scoping Bat Survey. The planning department had requested for Wirral Council to commission a protected species survey. The ecology survey and report supported the planning application.

The survey site is a former shopping centre that is part of a large regeneration project of the Birkenhead town centre. The development will create apartments and townhouses, a hotel and office spaces. There will also be car parking facilities created for the local community.

About the area

Birkenhead is a town located along the Wirral Penisular and is adjacent to the River Mersey. Northwest of the town centre is a restored 1800s park with woodland and two lakes. The park will provide suitable habitat for protected species such as bats and badgers.

Survey process

The survey and report involved:

  • Walkover to identify habitats on site.
  • Search for protected species evidence such as signs of badger setts and barn owl pellets.
  • External and internal building inspection for bat and nesting bird evidence.
  • 2km desk-study using the Magic.gov.uk database.

The desk-study involved a 2km search around the site for any designations such as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Local Nature Reserves (LNR). An optional part of the desk-study involves contacting the Local Record Centre for records of protected species and local wildlife sites around the area. The desk-study is an important element of the ecology report. It will ensure potential impacts on any designated sites and protected species in the local area has been accounted for.

The surveyor was taken around all areas of the site which will be affected, by the senior construction manager. This ensured a full understanding of the project requirements.

Survey findings

The survey concluded that the site had negligible potential to support protected species, such as badgers and great crested newts. There was also no evidence of protected species found on site. The site consisted of hard standing surface with commercial buildings. There was no vegetation found on site. The site is very urban with no connecting habitat features, such as woodland and hedgerows. This will reduce the likelihood of protected species being present on site.


The planning department has accepted the ecology report and the project has been granted planning permission. Wirral Council were pleased with the level of service that Arbtech provided. Arbtech has also worked on many other projects with Wirral Council.

If you would like an ecology survey for your project. please contact us via the website or by calling our head office. Our friendly team will provide a free quotation within 24 hours of your quote request.

Arbtech provides services for:

  • Ecology surveys.
  • Bat surveys.
  • European protected species mitigation licence applications.
  • Arboricultural surveys (planning, threats and mortgage reports).
  • Topographical surveys.

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