You will be asked a series of simple questions to guide you through the Wildlife Assessment Check. These are summarised below:
- Check 1. Project location: click on the map to locate your project
- Check 2. Type of development project: click on whether it is a large (Schedule 1 or 2) development, smaller development, or an individual household project
- Check 3. Site and works context: click on relevant boxes to indicate the type of natural habitats that may be affected (e.g. waterbodies, trees, hedgerows, coastal areas) and works that are being carried out
- Check 4. Further details: click on relevant boxes to indicate more detailed information about the habitats and types of proposed work
- Results and summary report: a summary of the project information and ecological advice is produced
Once complete, the results page will indicate whether your project site is likely to require professional ecological advice regarding any protected and priority species and statutory designated areas that may be impacted by the development*, in advance of making a planning application or submitting a permitted development. A short ‘Summary report’ will be produced which you can download and save. You can give the report to an consultant ecologist for their background information and submit it with your planning application, together with any additional ecological information the ecology consultant produces if they conduct a Preliminary Ecology Appraisal or more detailed Ecology Impact Assessment.
* The tool uses national species maps and triggers that do not always pick up local species data. In addition, although certain natural habitats are associated to protected and priority species, the tool does not hold information on ‘priority habitats’ (such as rivers, hedgerows and ancient woodlands) or Local Wildlife Sites that may need to be considered in terms of ecological impact. So we would always advise that the ecological consultant seeks additional information from the local environmental record centre and Local Wildlife Groups, as well as consider conducting a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal.
NOTE: It is important for users to note that the Wildlife Assessment Check is for guidance only. It is not designed to replace the judgement of a qualified professional ecologist about the potential wildlife impact of a development project. It has been developed for local authorities who have more limited in-house ecological capacity. Applicants should consult their local authority ecologist where they are present, to ensure that a proposed development does not require an ecological appraisal.
Check out our animated video which further explains the tool and how it works:
More: Wildlife Assessment Check | Species guidance notes | Spatial data credits