Ecological Tender for Upper Axe Landscape Recovery Project (Somerset/Dorset)

Date for Tender Submission – GMT Midnight 10th April 2023

The Upper Axe Landscape Recovery project manages land along 23.6km of the River Axe plus tributaries. The river channel and the fields immediately adjoining the river form our Primary Area for most significant interventions.

Our objectives are to:

  • Restore natural function to the river and tributaries throughout the Primary Area totalling 506ha.
  • Restore spawning gravels in the Upper River Axe
  • Reduce diffuse pollution entering the river system by 50%, targeting phosphates and suspended sediments originating from farming activities and sediments released directly from excessive channel erosion across 2010 ha (our Total Project Area).

To do this, we aim to:

  • Make substantial interventions in the river to reconnect the river to its floodplain, reduce bed and bank erosion and create vital fish spawning gravels.
  • Install natural structures and adapt bank profiles in the smaller tributaries to create similar benefits.
  • Convert arable land in the Primary Area to either woodland, wetland or extensive permanent pasture and modify farming practices across the Secondary area of the project. 

Ecological Surveying Requirements

A baseline understanding of what’s in the river and its floodplain allowing the project to base plans for habitat creation and enhancement. Surveys will need to be thorough enough for us to plan habitat changes with confidence, whilst targeted enough to focus on areas of greatest ecological importance.

Landowner permission already granted

Report by the Environment Agency regarding hydrological surveying requirements for the project will be available to the successful tender applicant by June 1st 2023

We can provide the following mapping shapefiles for the area we require surveying

By the end of summer 2023 we need to know:


Existing habitat and land use types categorised according to the UK Habitat Classification including habitat condition assessments on the floodplains and land adjacent to watercourses. This needs to be in a format which can be used for Biodiversity Net Gain projects in the future.


Fixed price quote

The presence and spread (determined or estimated) of important species for conservation or control (invasive species) in the rivers (Axe, the Cricket St Thomas stream, Hewood stream and Synderford), and important habitat features for those species in the river channels.


Fixed price quote

The condition of the riverbanks and riverbeds


Fixed price quote

Botanical survey data on specific pieces of land (particularly unimproved grassland), some identified already, others to be identified by your initial surveys.


Priced per hectare

We expect the outputs as GIS shapefiles which we can amalgamate into our overall project mapping. Any mapping output should be send as jpeg rather than pdf.

By the end of summer 2024 we expect we will need to know:

Our project will develop as we engage the landowners and produce initial assessments of the land. At present we do not know the exact requirements for further sampling. Please could you provide a unit cost for the below (per day or per ha).


Further botanical survey data on land away from the floodplain.

Priced per hectare


Further detailed protected species surveys on sites where river restoration works are proposed.

Surveys for key indicator species such as birds, bats, butterflies.


Priced per day

Other survey data, yet to be determined


Priced per day

Please give details in your tender of:

  • Your experience / suitability for carrying out this work
  • Prices
  • Timescales
  • Proposed surveying methods
  • How you will collate and present the data
  • Any further suggestions of what we should be including in our baseline surveys

For further information, please email

Invite to Tender for Ecological Survey works Landscape Recovery – Upper Axe Original Proposal

Landscape Recovery – Upper Axe Original Proposal