Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Managing biodiversity: Establish the baseline

Managing biodiversity: establish the baseline

To manage your site and protect biodiversity you should start by carrying out an ecological survey and establish a baseline. You should use a qualified and experienced ecologist, such as a Member of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM), to survey the biodiversity of your business site. You can search a directory of ecologists on the IEEM website.

IEEM: Directory of ecologists

To survey certain protected species the ecologist will also need a survey licence from the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Scottish Natural Heritage or the Scottish Government . You should check that the ecologist has an appropriate licence.

Collecting baseline biodiversity information

To collect baseline biodiversity data on your site, the ecologist will carry out a desk study.

The desk study will collect existing information on your site and the surrounding areas. This will establish if it is protected or designated in any way, and whether it contains protected or notable species, or non-designated areas that are important for nature conservation.

Your ecologist may also recommend undertaking a Phase 1 habitat survey on your site. They will assess habitat types and the suitability of your site for protected or notable species, and present the survey results on a colour-coded map of habitats.

If the desk study and Phase 1 survey indicate that certain protected or priority species may be present on the site, a more detailed Phase 2 survey will be required.

Further information

Society for the Environment: Chartered Environmentalists

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