This document provides guidance on temporary alternative approaches to ecological survey and assessment that would apply as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, e.g. where field surveys cannot be undertaken for a given site or area, or where only limited survey effort is achievable. This guidance is aimed at parties:
- undertaking ecological surveys and assessments, particularly in relation to planning applications (ecological consultants);
- tasked with reviewing the adequacy of the ecological information provided in relation to a planning application, or in compliance, management or monitoring purposes (Planning Authorities and Statutory Nature Conservation Bodies);
- compiling and reviewing species licence applications; and
- undertaking or relying on pre-construction surveys.
The Covid-19 restrictions have constrained the collection of field data during spring and early summer 2020, and it is possible that further restrictions may apply in the future. This document provides guidance on alternative approaches to address the challenges that a lack of field data will present. It suggests strategies that will ensure that our profession and members’ businesses remain resilient, but that will also be based on the important requirements for any field survey or alternative approaches to evidence collection.
This guidance is a response to the current Covid-19 circumstances and is not a template for future ecological survey and assessment methodology.
This guidance document is currently being reviewed.
This guidance applies to the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. We have also published a similar document for ecologists working in the UK.
See further information on our Covid-19 webpages.