Ecological Survey Decision Tree

It can sometimes be difficult to estimate which protected species may be present on your site. To assist with this we have developed a decision tree.

This decision tree provides you with an indication of the protected/notable species that you may need to consider within your scheme. This can be a useful tool when compiling a development programme, as it gives an indication of the likely protected species surveys that may be required (some of which are seasonally restricted - view our survey calendar) as well as the mitigation that may need to be included (view our mitigation calendar. The aim is to prevent delays to development programmes or costs associated with redesigning plans.

Are any of the features or habitats listed to the right present on site or within one kilometre of the site (this applies to both urban and rural areas)?

No protected species surveys are required but works should proceed with caution. If a protected species is encountered during the course of the development, then works should cease and advice sought from an ecological consultant. The scheme should include opportunities for biodiversity enhancements, such as green corridors and species specific enhancements.

Source: Natural England

Does the application affect a traditional timber framed building (for example a barn) or other traditional farm building?
Bat and Barn Owl survey required
Buildings with suitable features (such as loft spaces, soffits, gaps beneath tiles) and/or large gardens in suburban and rural areas
Bat, breeding bird and reptile surveys may be required
Lakes, rivers and streams on, or adjacent to the application site
Fish, Otter, water vole and crayfish surveys may be required
Heathland on, adjacent to, or linked to the site by other semi-natural habitat


Breeding bird, badger, dormouse, reptile, invertebrate, natterjack toad and plant surveys may be required
Meadows, grassland, parkland and pasture on, adjacent to or linked to the site by other semi-natural habitat
Bat, badger, great crested newt, invertebrate, reptile and plant surveys may be required
Ponds or slow flowing water bodies (e.g. ditches) on or within 500 metres of the site and linked by semi-natural habitat (e.g. grassland/pasture, woodland, hedgerows)
Great crested newt, water vole, invertebrate and crayfish surveys may be required
Rough grassland and previously developed land (‘brownfield sites’) on or immediately adjacent to the site
Reptile, breeding bird, invertebrate and plant surveys may be required
Woodland (including scrub and hedgerows) on, adjacent to or linked to the application site (for example by hedgerows)
Bat, breeding bird, badger, dormouse, invertebrate and plant  surveys may be required
Coastal habitats (including applications down to the mean low water mark)
Natterjack road and invertebrate surveys may be required
Veteran trees, tunnels, cellars, ice houses, old mines and cave systems
Bat surveys may be required, particularly where these features exist