CIEEM has today published new Guidance on Ecological Survey and Assessment in the UK During the Covid-19 Outbreak.
The guidance has been drafted by experienced ecologists as a tool to help CIEEM members continue to undertake ecological survey and assessment during the restrictions necessitated by the Covid-19 outbreak, where they can do so safely. We recognise it does not cover all taxa but concentrates on those for which alternative approaches are most urgently required. We may produce further guidance for additional taxa in due course. We also recognise that it has been produced swiftly, in response to an extreme situation and urgent need. We therefore welcome feedback and suggested improvements.
The document provides guidance on temporary alternative approaches to ecological survey and assessment in scenarios where field surveys cannot be undertaken for a given site or area, or only limited survey effort is achievable, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. It has been produced under the highly constraining environment necessitated by movement restrictions and is not intended to replace existing guidance and best practice. This guidance is aimed at parties:
- undertaking ecological surveys and assessments, particularly in relation to planning applications (ecological consultants in most cases);
- tasked with reviewing the adequacy of the ecological information provided in relation to a planning application (such as Local Planning Authorities and Statutory Nature Conservation Bodies);
- compiling and reviewing species licence applications; and
- undertaking or relying on pre-construction surveys.
This is part of our ongoing response to the Covid-19 pandemic.