You’d be forgiven for thinking that ecology surveys stop during the winter as reptiles, mammals and plants hunker down during the winter months.
It’s true we’ve passed the end of the active survey season for a number of species, such as bats, reptiles and dormice. However, there are still ecological surveys that can be done in the winter and planning for these now – ensuring that survey seasons are not missed – could save you time and money.
The following surveys are best undertaken in the winter:
- Inspections of trees for potential bat roost features (PRFs). This is because these features are easier to see when there are no leaves on the trees
- Identification of badger setts can be done in the winter, as these may be easier to see within patches of bramble or dense woodland
The following surveys can only be undertaken in the winter:
- Wintering bird survey
- Bat hibernation survey
Other surveys that can be done at any time of year include:
- Bat roost scoping surveys
- Extended phase 1 habitat surveys
- Otter surveys
- Dormouse nut searches
When phase 1 surveys are completed in the winter, any phase 2 surveys required in the spring can be planned early, avoiding any project delays.