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Introduction

We offer a range of professional ecological services to clients outside the Council.

We offer comprehensive support for your project from start to finish. From initial desk top studies and preliminary walkover surveys to more in-depth surveys for protected and other species to practical help with planning applications and implementing cost-effective measures on sites.

What we do

Our ecological team provides high quality ecological advice and expertise. We offer biodiversity solutions tailored to your specific needs

  • Ecological advice
  • Wildlife surveys
  • Legally protected species survey and support
  • Management plans
  • Training

Particular specialisms

  • Ecology and the planning system
  • Protected species licences held for Bats, Dormice, Barn Owl and Great Crested Newt
  • Badger licence applications
  • Habitats Regulations Assessments
  • Biodiversity off-setting calculations
  • Biodiversity Net Gain

We charge for the work we do for

  • Other public bodies
  • Local authorities
  • Members of the public
  • Businesses of all sizes (including sub-contracting to consultancies)
  • Schools, academies, colleges

Timescales depend on what is required and the needs imposed by survey seasons.

We can provide a written quotation or estimate on request.

You can contact us from 9.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Thursday, 9.00am to 4.30pm Friday. We are available for work outside these hours by arrangement.

Contact: County Ecologist, Somerset Council, County Hall, Taunton TA1 4DY
Email: SES@somerset.gov.uk
Opening hours: Monday to Thursday: 9.00am to 5.00pm, Friday 9.00am to 4.30pm, Saturday and Sunday closed. If you require work to be completed outside these hours, please make a request to SES@somerset.gov.uk

Other Consultancies

A number of other consultancies have approached us to make us aware that they offer ecological services in Somerset and to ask us to put their names on a list of such service providers. The Somerset Ecological Consultants List is for guidance only and does not constitute an endorsement of individuals or companies by Somerset Council.

The list is not definitive but comprises consultancies that we are aware provide services in at least some part of the county. Whilst we make every effort to keep this list up to date (reviewing it at least annually), we cannot be held responsible for the quality of the services provided by any business listed.

You can find other companies or individuals by searching online or through the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM).

Quality Standards

All the team adhere to the Chartered institute of Ecology and Environmental Management code of conduct. We are covered by the Council’s professional indemnity insurance.

British Standard 42020, 2021:2022 & 8683 provides a code of practice for consideration of biodiversity in planning and development processes.

Suitably qualified Ecologists operating in the area can be found on this CIEEM page.

Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG)

Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) is a strategy to develop land and contribute to the recovery of nature. The primary objective of BNG is to make sure the habitat for wildlife is in a better state than it was before development.

The Environment Act 2021 mandates a 10% net gain in biodiversity units for most developments. One aspect of England’s approach to BNG is the use of a biodiversity metric to demonstrate that BNG has been delivered by following the mitigation hierarchy. At the time of writing, the latest metric tool is Natural England’s Biodiversity Metric 4.0. The Environment Act 2021 makes biodiversity net gain mandatory for all but small sites and some exemptions from an as-yet unconfirmed date in November 2023 and for small sites from April 2024.

For more information, visit the Planning Advisory Service page here.

Last reviewed: November 6, 2023 by Daniel

Next review due: May 6, 2024

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