Our Expertise

The expertise of the Ecology team includes ecology, wildlife, biodiversity and biological records (through Merseyside BioBank). We provide specialist advice and interpretation on a wealth of habitats and species legislation such as the Habitats Regulations, policy preparation and compliance. We support the Local Sites Partnership and report to Government on single data list indicator 160-00 which feeds into the districts' Annual Monitoring Reports.

The Ecology Team plays an essential role in providing advice and consultation on Liverpool City Regions planning applications  in informing planning decisions  and in defending the ecological rationale behind planning decisions post-application .

I need an Ecological Consultant

MEAS does not keep or maintain a list of approved ecological consultants. However, CIEEM has established an ecological consultant directory. From this, developers and applicants can find an ecological consultant, who is a CIEEM member, and is located near to them or to their project.

The directory can be found on the CIEEM website.

Guidance on Survey Standards

When reviewing a development proposal, MEAS ensure that protected species surveys are completed, where appropriate, and that surveys have been undertaken in accordance with the relevant best practice guidelines, at the appropriate time of year, by suitably qualified and experienced ecologists.

For certain surveys, the surveyor must have obtained a Natural England licence for the survey to be lawfully undertaken (e.g. great crested newt survey, intrusive surveys for roosting bats and survey of a barn owl nest site).

On occasions, it may be possible for ecological consultants to deviate from the best practice survey guidelines. However, this deviation must be ecologically justified in the survey report.

Protected species surveys undertaken outside of the appropriate survey season are unlikely to be accepted, as it is unlikely that they would adequately characterise protected species usage of a site and enable adequate mitigation to be undertaken. The results of the survey would not, therefore, be considered valid.

A lack of, or inadequate, protected species survey could result in increased costs for applicants and developers due to the resulting delays that would be experienced in determining the planning application. It may also result in the application being refused.

The Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) has produced Good Practice Guidance for Habitats and Species (May 2021, version 3). This lists the key guidance on the undertaking of protected species surveys and mitigation measures.

Developers and applicants must ensure that protected species surveys remain sufficiently up to date. Due to the highly transient nature of the majority of protected species, surveys only have a relatively limited lifespan. CIEEM has also produced guidance on the Lifespan of Ecological Reports and Surveys.