Developers Resources

What is the Difference Between an Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey and a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal?

The short answer is none, both of the above surveys refer to the same thing. Read on to find out why.

Many of my clients (and graduate ecologists) have been confused by the jargon used by ecologists or councils. One major source of confusion is the difference between an Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey and a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal, sometimes just shorted to and Ecological Appraisal’; or incorrectly to ‘Phase 1 Habitat Survey’ (which is incorrect as a Phase 1 Habitat survey is just a plant survey – the extended part refers to protected species aspect).

Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey and a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal are terms which are used interchangeably for the initial (or ‘baseline) ecology survey for a site; which will take into account habitats and protected species.

So why the confusion?

In my experience, modern wildlife ecology (a relatively new concept in science, historically speaking) is still rife with nomenclature changes and trends which typically proceed new ideas and new industries. Much like the explosion of annoying clickbait news cycle phrases like… Clickbait, or ‘fake news’, or, ‘infodemic’.

Preliminary Ecological Appraisals (PEA – sometimes even PEAR, the extra R for ‘report’) is simply the newer and more ‘trendy’ name for an Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey.

What other ecological consultancy terms have been put through the trend mincer?

  • Nocturnal bat surveys are the same as emergence and re-entry bat surveys.
  • Bat scoping and Preliminary Roost Assessments (PRA) are the same thing.
  • Precautionary Working Methods (PWM) and Reasonable Avoidance Methods (RAM) are the same thing.

Another that comes to mind, which is less important for a developer to know, is ‘BAP priority habitats’ and ‘BAP priority species’ from the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UK BAP), which listed important habitats and species that need additional consideration when it came to conservation and developments.

What happened to UK BAP? Get ready for some jargon mincing! The UK BAP was succeeded by the ‘UK Post-2010 Biodiversity Framework‘ in July 2012. This moved most of the BAP species and habitats into Section 41 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities (NERC) Act 2006. So, you may see in ecology reports ‘NERC priority species/habitats’ or simply ‘priority species/habitats’ – which will mean those listed in the NERC Act. See below for the NERC Act 2006 Priority Habitats, which many council documents will still refer to as ‘BAP Habitats.’

UK BAP Broad HabitatUK BAP Priority HabitatChanges agreed in the 2007 review
Terrestrial and freshwater habitats  
Rivers and streamsRivers (updated 2011)New priority habitat [including existing Chalk Rivers priority habitat] (scope clarified in 2010)
Standing open waters and canalsOligotrophic and Dystrophic LakesNew priority habitat
 PondsNew priority habitat
 Mesotrophic LakesNo change
 Eutrophic Standing WatersNo change
 Aquifer Fed Naturally Fluctuating Water BodiesNo change
Arable and horticulturalArable Field MarginsRevised name (previously ‘Cereal Field Margins’); scope clarified
Boundary and Linear FeaturesHedgerowsRevised name (previously ‘Ancient and/or Species-Rich Hedgerows’); scope expanded
Broadleaved, Mixed and Yew WoodlandTraditional OrchardsNew priority habitat
 Wood-Pasture and Parkland (updated December 2011)Revised name (previously ‘Lowland Wood-Pasture and Parkland’); scope expanded
 Upland OakwoodNo change
 Lowland Beech and Yew WoodlandNo change
 Upland Mixed AshwoodsNo change
 Wet WoodlandNo change
 Lowland Mixed Deciduous WoodlandFormally adopted as priority habitat
 Upland BirchwoodsFormally adopted as priority habitat
Coniferous WoodlandNative Pine WoodlandsNo change
Acid GrasslandLowland Dry Acid GrasslandNo change
Calcareous GrasslandLowland Calcareous GrasslandNo change; scope clarified
 Upland Calcareous GrasslandNo change
Neutral GrasslandLowland MeadowsNo change
 Upland Hay MeadowsNo change
Improved GrasslandCoastal and Floodplain Grazing MarshNo change
Dwarf Shrub HeathLowland HeathlandNo change; scope clarified
 Upland HeathlandNo change
 Fen, Marsh and SwampUpland Flushes, Fens and SwampsNew priority habitat
 Purple Moor Grass and Rush PasturesNo change
 Lowland FensRevised name (previously ‘Fens’)
 ReedbedsNo change
BogsLowland Raised BogNo change
 Blanket BogNo change
Montane HabitatsMountain Heaths and Willow ScrubNew priority habitat
Inland RockInland Rock Outcrop and Scree HabitatsNew priority habitat
 Calaminarian GrasslandsNew priority habitat
 Open Mosaic Habitats on Previously Developed Land (updated July 2010)New priority habitat (scope clarified in 2010)
 Limestone PavementsNo change
Supralittoral RockMaritime Cliff and SlopesNo change
Supralittoral SedimentCoastal Vegetated ShingleNo change
 MachairNo change
 Coastal Sand DunesNo change
Marine Habitats  
Littoral RockIntertidal ChalkRevised name (previously part of ‘Littoral and Sublittoral Chalk’)
 Intertidal Underboulder CommunitiesNew priority habitat
 Sabellaria alveolata reefsNo change
Littoral SedimentCoastal SaltmarshNo change
 Intertidal MudflatsRevised name (previously ‘Mudflats’)
 Seagrass BedsNo change (includes both intertidal and subtidal beds)
 Sheltered Muddy GravelsNo change
 Peat and Clay Exposures with PiddocksNew priority habitat
Sublittoral rockSubtidal ChalkRevised name (previously part of ‘Littoral and Sublittoral Chalk’)
 Tide-swept ChannelsRevised name (previously ‘Tidal Rapids’); scope expanded
 Fragile Sponge and Anthozoan Communities on Subtidal Rocky HabitatsNew priority habitat
 Estuarine Rocky HabitatsNew priority habitat
 Seamount CommunitiesNew priority habitat
 Carbonate MoundsNew priority habitat
 Cold-water Coral ReefsRevised name (previously ‘Lophelia pertusa Reefs’)
 Deep-sea Sponge CommunitiesNew priority habitat
 Sabellaria spinulosa ReefsNo change
Sublittoral SedimentSubtidal Sands and GravelsRevised name (previously ‘Sublittoral Sands and Gravels’)
 Horse Mussel BedsRevised name (previously ‘Modiolus modiolus Beds’)
 Mud Habitats in Deep WaterNo change
 File Shell BedsNew priority habitat
 Maerl BedsNo change
 Serpulid ReefsNo change
 Blue Mussel Beds on SedimentNew priority habitat
 Saline LagoonsNo change

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