Habitat Survey and Assessment (Phase I, Phase II and NVC)

habitat survey

Penny Anderson Associates Ltd. (PAA) is nationally recognised as a leading ecological consultancy, and has been carrying out habitat surveys and assessments on a wide range of different habitats and vegetation types throughout the UK for over 40 years. Our experienced team of botanists, aided by our in-house Geographical Information Systems (GIS) department, produces high-quality, thorough and specialised products aimed at meeting the specific requirements of each individual client and project.

At PAA we provide the following vegetation surveys at competitive prices:

  • Scoping surveys for proposed development sites, e.g. housing, supermarkets, pipelines, wind farms;
  • Large-scale Phase I Habitat Surveys for councils, National Parks, etc., including repeat surveys and updating current datasets;
  • Phase II / NVC Surveys for a wide range of purposes, for example habitat condition assessments, short and long-term habitat creation and restoration monitoring programmes;
  • River Habitat Assessments;
  • Hedgerow Regulations surveys, either as stand-alone surveys or incorporated within Phase I/II surveys; and
  • Invasive Plant Species surveys, either for particular species or general surveys for all invasive plant species, both aquatic and terrestrial.

Phase I Habitat Surveys
Phase I Habitat Survey is a standard survey technique used to provide an overview of vegetation types present at a site. This can take the form of a scoping survey at a proposed development site, to give a broad indication of the habitat types present over an area, for example across a Borough Council or a National Park. At PAA we also offer an Extended Phase I Habitat Survey, based on the standard Phase I Survey techniques, but with additional survey information provided on habitat suitability for protected species.

Phase 1 habitat surveyPhase II / NVC Surveys
A Phase II or National Vegetation Classification (NVC) Survey would be undertaken where more in-depth information is required on the habitats present at a site, for example where a Phase I survey has identified habitats of interest, or where only one particular habitat type is being surveyed, for example moorland or fen. PAA has extensive experience of detailed Phase II surveys and can provide botanists skilled in the identification of plants in every habitat type within the UK, including acid and calcareous grassland, wetlands, upland moorland, coastal and woodland. Survey data are analysed to provide a best-fitting NVC community type, using a combination of vegetation keys and community descriptions alongside computerised NVC software such as Match and MAVIS.

The client would typically receive:
Vegetation survey

  • The results of a desk study used to obtain records of protected species and designated sites nearby, to place the site in a wider ecological context and inform any need for further surveys;
  • The Phase I Habitat Survey report detailing the results of surveys completed by trained and experienced surveyors, working within time and budget constraints;
  • Target Notes taken at specific locations, including plant species lists presented with both common and scientific names, the latter formatted according to the most up-to-date system, and showing relative abundance of each species according to the DAFOR scale (Dominant, Abundant, Frequent, Occasional, Rare);
  • Details regarding presence of invasive species such as Japanese Knotweed (this can be included within Phase I or undertaken as a stand-alone survey); and
  • All of the above presented in a high-quality report,
    including digital maps produced by our in-house GIS
    team (which can be provided as hard copies, digitally,
    or both), plant species lists for each habitat identified
    during the survey, and informed recommendations for
    further Phase II and/or Protected Species surveys.

For more details on our vegetation and habitat surveys, please
contact us