Ecological

Ellis Belk has experience of complex ecological issues surrounding new developments and understands the problems they may cause.

We work with and can employ ecologists to survey the site for wildlife, flora and fauna.

We understand the implications that result from ecological protective measures or possible translocation of species to another site. We also understand the importance of improving existing habitats (bird boxes, planting native species, etc) and how this links back to EcoHomes and the Code for Sustainable Design.

To date we have developed schemes with the following protected species:

  • Greater Crested Newts
  • Dormice
  • Water Voles
  • Foxes
  • Slow worms
  • Reptiles
  • Bats
  • Birds
  • Crustaceans
  • Fish (migration)

We understand implications resulting from ecological protective measures or possible translocation of species to another site.

  • Restrictions on programming (e.g. bird nesting season, fish migration)
  • Need for specialist fencing
  • Temporary bridges and walkways out of excavations
  • Limitations on woodland clearance

Ecology and BREEAM Assessments

Ecology forms a fundamental section in both EcoHomes and Code for Sustainable Homes. The category is made up of five sections:

  • Ecological value of site
  • Ecological enhancement
  • Protection of ecological features
  • Change in ecological value
  • Building footprint

There are a total of seven credits available in the ecology section.

It is fundamental that an ecologist is employed at the design stage to allow for a site visit before any work is undertaken and to make recommendations to enhance the ecological value of a site. Under the Code for Sustainable Homes it is a basic requirement that an inspection is carried out prior to development to allow any credits to be awarded. In addition to this employing an ecological consultant at this early stage allows the design team to incorporate the recommendations made.

Where trees or other items which may confer some ecological value are present on the site credits cannot be awarded for ecological value of site or protection of ecological features without the approval of an ecologist. It is their responsibility to identify such items as having no ecological value or recommend ways to protect these features. However where the site confers no ecological value i.e. there are no trees, hedges, ponds, wetland etc, and the development is entirely within the area of an existing building or hard standing these credits can be awarded by default.

To comply with the requirements of both the Code and EcoHomes the ecologist must meet the requirements of a ‘suitably qualified ecologist’ which include a degree or equivalent, a minimum of three years experience in the last five years, and covered by a professional code of conduct.