SLR’s ecologists also work closely with other SLR technical staff to provide practical and innovative solutions to ecological issues.
The baseline of most ecological studies is a survey. Many of SLR’s ecologists have been trained in and have experience with commonly used survey methods as well as other specialist techniques. In some cases it would be inappropriate to use standard methods of survey and SLR has the scientific knowledge and research experience required to devise specific ecological survey and monitoring methods for both flora and fauna. SLR’s ecology team is also skilled in desk-top studies and literature searches and many staff have statistical, specialist computer programme and GIS analysis skills.
Baseline Studies and Protected Species Surveys
SLR’s experienced ecologists can perform baseline studies to identify the natural resources that may be impacted by a proposed project. This includes identifying the likelihood of protected species being present on development sites. If protected species do become an issue, SLR personnel can provide accurate and clear guidance on the types and levels of mitigation and monitoring required by law.
SLR can also provide detailed mitigation and habitat management plans for those species identified. Where protected species issues arise we take a pragmatic and open approach with the client to ensure no surprises occur at a later stage.
Ecological Impact Assessments
Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) may be required for determination of planning or permitting applications for developments of any size where an impact upon valued ecological receptors may occur. . SLR has extensive experience in scoping and undertaking the wide range of baseline studies required for ecological Impact Assessments. Further to this our ecologists have skills in evaluation and interpretation of survey data which have allowed SLR to recommend realistic mitigation and compensation measures that reduce the overall impacts upon sensitive fauna, flora and habitats.
Planning, Regulatory Support, and Compliance
SLR understands the existing regulatory framework, including relevant laws, regulations, standards, and guidelines applicable to proposed activities for development projects. We use this knowledge to assist clients in developing a project that will address the regulatory requirements. This approach helps ensure that the permitting and regulatory negotiation process is streamlined to the extent practical to obtain project approval. SLR also assists clients by developing compliance systems to ensure that all internal and regulatory stipulations are met.
Habitat Remediation and Management
Through habitat restoration, re-creation, and management, it is possible to improve the quality of existing habitat or to recover lands and waters that may have been destroyed as part of past activities. This process can address regulatory requirements such as compensatory mitigation and make significant contributions to local, national and international biodiversity targets which in turn aid developers in moving projects forward. SLR’s ecologists work closely with landscape architects and other technical professionals to provide comprehensive advice on habitat restoration, design, and re-creation.
We provide a full post re-creation monitoring service and habitat management plans to ensure the long-term sustainability of the scheme SLR’s ecological staff can also provide site supervision for work in sensitive areas ensuring that impacts are lessened and that contractors adhere to any specific ecological specifications.
Biodiversity Assessment and Offsetting
SLR can provide a range of biodiversity assessment services from individual site appraisals through to site and company Action Plans to meet CSR requirements.
Biodiversity offsetting is becoming an increasingly important tool in the realm of environmental planning and regulation. We are at the forefront of understanding how businesses can use the biodiversity-offset approach to realize their development projects; maximise the value of their investments; maintain shareholder and customer confidence; and deliver on their environmental obligations.