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Preliminary Ecological Appraisal Report for Bayfordbury Field Station

Assignment briefing and report

You  are  an  ecological  consultant  and  have  been  asked  to  carry  out  a  preliminary  ecological appraisal for a site near Hertford by a client. The site has been purchased by a developer and a housing development is planned for the site. The planning authority has asked your client for an extended Phase 1 habitat survey report to assess the value of the site for wildlife and the possible impacts of the development. 

Bayfordbury Field Station, University of Hertfordshire, Lower Hatfield Road, HERTFORD Postcode: SG13 8LD Grid reference: TL 31536 10448 Some  background  information  on  the  site  and  a  base  map  have  been  provided.  The  exact boundaries of the site are provided in Figure 1. 

[Note:  refer  to  the  methods  and  resources  in  the  Preliminary  Ecological  Appraisal  session delivered by Chantal during the short-course available in Canvas] 


Carry out a desk study to find out as much as possible about the site. Important information to look for includes: 


• habitats on site and in the surrounding area 

• connectivity of the site (look at aerial photos on e.g. Google Earth) 

• does  the  site  or  neighbouring  areas  (within  5km)  have  any  designations?  (e.g.  MAGIC maps) 

• are there any protected species or BAP species recorded in the local area (within 1km)? (e.g. the NBN Gateway) 

• current management of the site Resources for the desk study include: 2 July 2021 3 University of Hertfordshire 

[Note: refer to the methods and resources in the Protected Species and Preliminary Ecological Appraisal sessions delivered by Chantal during the short-course available in Canvas in combination with the notes taken during the field visit itself] During the site visit you would: 


• conduct  an extended  Phase  1  habitat  survey  by  mapping  the  habitats  on  a  base  map  (a base map is provided in Figure 1 and as an


editable Powerpoint file on Canvas)

• describe  the  habitats  and  key  plant  species  found  in  each  habitat  type  (an  example description of the habitat and key species

associated with each are summarised in Table 1) 


• identify as ‘Target notes’ any  features  of  wildlife  interest  including  direct  observations, potential  roosting  sites  for  bats,  or  invasive

species  (examples  of  target  notes  are provided in Table 2) 

• conduct  a  great  crested  newt  (Triturus  cristatus)  ‘habitat suitability index’ of any ponds present (an example is given in Table 3)

• conduct a reptile ‘habitat suitability index’ of a section of grassland (an example is given 
in Table 4) 

 The  final  report  will  contain  information  gained  through  both  the  desk  study  (refer  to  the short-course  Preliminary  Ecological Appraisal  session)  and  the  site  visit  (section  2.0).  The report  will  include  a  Phase  1  habitat  map  with  accompanying  target  notes  and habitat descriptions  listed  numerically  in  tables  (examples  provided).  According  to  the  habitats present and combined with your desk study results, you will also need to make an assessment  in  the  discussion  section  of  your  report  about  the  potential  for  protected species  to  be  present  on  site  and  make  recommendations  about  the  requirements  for Phase  2  surveys  and  how  these  should  be undertaken.  Remember  to  include  the  relevant wildlife legislation in the Appendix. 

The layout will follow the guidance provided in the CIEEM (2012, 2013) professional guidance  documents  (Guidelines  for  Preliminary Ecological  Appraisal  and  Ecological  Report Writing available on Canvas) to include: 

• Title page: report title, date, author 

• Summary / abstract (1 page) 

• Introduction – brief description of the site and the reason for the assessment

• Methodology – briefly describe what was done including references i.e.

- Desk Study

- Field survey  

• Results 

Desk Study (site geology, designated sites within a 5km radius, notable / protected species records recorded within 1km) 

Field  survey  (completed  Phase  1  map,  target  notes  table,  great  crested  newt habitat suitability index) 

• Discussion

• Conclusions and recommendations  7LFS1037 Ecology and Conservation 
2 July 2021 4 University of Hertfordshire 

• References

• Appendices 

Tables, References and Appendices are excluded from the final word count. Please refer to Departmental guidelines in your course handbook for guidance on referencing.   


The  word  count  excludes  tables  so  you  are  advised  to  summarise  data  in  tables  and  make 
reference to them in the text. 

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