Our invertebrate experts have won a framework agreement with Natural England to assess invertebrate assemblages and their habitats on SSSIs. The agreement is valid for five years, whereby SSSIs are surveyed and analysed using the Invertebrate Species-habitat Information System (ISIS) package, as part of Common Standards Monitoring.
In 2012, our teams surveyed short grassland and bare earth habitats over 30 SSSIs, including some iconic sites such as the White Cliffs at Dover. We are currently engaged in surveying the other habitats for which we qualified under the framework, including: dead wood, open water, fens and seepages, rivers, saltmarsh, acid mires, scrub and heath. Our expert ecologists include Dr. Graham Hopkins FRES, an invertebrate specialist who is engaged in his own research and who frequently lectures to both academic and amateur communities and groups: last year he delivered two conference presentations on invertebrates in the EIA process.
In 2012 the project took Graham on a road trip through Essex to Dover, the Isle of White, then back to Norfolk via Luton.
On the journey he surveyed soft cliffs, quarries, chalk pits, chalk grassland, and brownfield sites. During breaks from the close work involved, he particularly enjoyed looking at the ferries from the White Cliffs! This year he was working closer to home and surveyed sites on the Norfolk coast as well as The Brecks. He was also helped by a top team of contractors.
The Ecology Consultancy has in-house capabilities in invertebrate survey and site assessment including standardised schemes such as the BMWP and ISIS protocols. Our survey staff hold several species licences for this work.