Invertebrate assemblage assessment for SSSI’s countrywide

Client: Natural England

Objective: To establish the invertebrate biodiversity status on SSSIs

The Ecology Consultancy have a framework agreement with Natural England to undertake Common Standards Monitoring of invertebrates on Sites of Special Scientific Interest.

Our team of in-house staff and external associates are qualified on technical criteria for ten habitat types, including dead wood, scrub, short sward, open water, fen and saltmarsh. The assessment of each SSSI is based on standardised sampling from 4-6 sampling points and analysed using the Invertebrate Species-habitat Information System (ISIS) package.

The task

Over two years (2012-13) 40 different SSSIs were surveyed for their short sward and bare sand/chalk assemblages, including iconic sites such as the White Cliffs of Dover, Beachy Head and the Eastern Peak District Moors.

Graham sweeping web

The outcome

The individual SSSIs have been found to be in a range of conditions, and appropriate management recommendations to improve their condition have been made. Species highlights include the Glanville fritillary (which is restricted to the Isle of Wight), the Adonis blue butterfly on the chalk downs of Sussex, and over twenty five scarce species elsewhere.


The Ecology Consultancy has in-house capabilities in invertebrate survey and site assessment including standardised schemes such as the BMWP and ISIS protocols. Our team of associates include a number of national experts and we can offer survey and identification expertise for the majority of taxa. Our survey staff hold several species licences for this work, including Anisus vorticulus, Gammarus insensibilis and white-clawed crayfish.

SSIP Link-up Constructionline Builders Profile