Quality of Ecology Across Urban Manchester
Although it has had city status since 1853, Manchester has seen significant growth in recent times, with the population rising by 19% in 2021 alone. Following distinct investment, it now stands a chance of rivalling London as the country’s biggest and best source of revenue, and with a vast cultural influence through football teams, bands and various public figures, the city of Manchester continues to build on recent successes and thrive more than ever before.
As the third most urbanised part of the UK, it comes as no surprise to learn that green areas across the city of Manchester are limited. Natural sections of the city do exist, however, and it will be the job of the local council to protect and retain as many as possible. Not only that, but the emphasis also applies to the animals and plants in the vicinity and wider Greater Manchester that are considered rare or valuable, such as badgers, barn owls, bats, brown hares, great crested newts and water voles.
Measures in Place to Protect Listed Species
A chosen destination for a habitat will be decided using a handful of factors, including the local climate, the possibilities for forming habitats or creating new habitats, and the situation in regard to prey in the corresponding area. While some protected species are particular about choosing a location as a habitat, others aren’t as picky, meaning that you could see bats in almost any part of the country including Manchester, but many other species are far more difficult to spot.
The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 and the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 are the two primary pieces of legislation that are designed to defend named species of animals and plants. In addition, the laws are supported by the input of relevant organisations, such as the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM), the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), Natural England and the local wildlife trust – in the case of Manchester, that would be the Lancashire, Manchester & North Merseyside Wildlife Trust. Developers hold the highest likelihood for interference caused by protected species, and as a result, the necessary ecology surveys are needed to put the minds of the local authorities at ease and bolster any otherwise uncertain planning applications.
Inspections to Guide Planning Decisions
Different types of ecological surveys are available to suit various purposes. In terms of achieving an overview of the site’s biodiversity and the full range of listed animals and plants present, an ecological impact assessment (EcIA) may suffice. More often than not, however, the recommended first step in the ecological survey process would be to stage a preliminary ecological appraisal (PEA) / extended phase 1 habitat survey.
All protected species on the development site in question will be identified during preliminary ecological appraisals, and if there is a need for further surveys, the ecological consultant will suggest that they be conducted before recommending that the local planning authority grants planning consent. It is possible for sufficient evidence to be taken from the PEA or for no protected species to be present, but if this isn’t the case, protected species surveys could include great crested newt surveys, reptile surveys or water vole surveys for animals or any number of invasive species surveys for plants.
Of all ecology surveys, bat surveys are often the most common due to widespread bat populations, involving a preliminary roost assessment and bat emergence survey. As soon as all ecology services have been completed, the ecological surveyor will begin producing an ecology report to detail the information retrieved from the assessment, offer ecological advice, outline potential impacts on natural assets, and show consideration to environmental management, project management and the planning process. Providing satisfactory mitigation or compensation measures are viable, the ecology survey report should be sufficient to point the local planning authorities toward confirming a successful planning application.
Speak to Our Established Team
With many years’ experience, expert co-ordination and coverage all over Greater Manchester and wider North West England, the ecology team at Arbtech is the preferred choice for professional and private clients. Our full range of ecology services extends across ecological impact assessments, preliminary ecological appraisals, invasive species surveys and protected species surveys such as preliminary roost assessments for roosting bats, giving us the ability to turn our hand to any potential impacts affecting planning.
If you decide to tap into the extensive experience of our team, get in touch today and receive a free quote for an ecology survey on your Manchester development site. You can email us, call us or fill out a quote form on our website, and from there, we will be able to create a quote that reflects your site and project. On the date chosen between you and our administration team, an ecological survey will be carried out on your site, and with the corresponding report, we will be able to assist with your application for planning consent to the local council.