Phase 1 Habitat Surveys: Practical Processes & Application

Environmentally mapping proposed development sites

Landscape architecture revolves around various aspects, because the design of outdoor areas differs a great deal depending on the type of area, the trees and other habitats in that area, and the reason why a certain development or project has been proposed for that area. Carrying out detailed evaluations of the areas in question is of the essence, as several things need to be taken into consideration. The authorities will also require certain reports before approving of a project proposal.

One of the most common requirements is the phase 1 habitat survey. Basically a phase 1 habitat survey calls for the mapping of an area that is being considered for a certain development. Phase 1 habitat surveys are indispensable as a foundation to inform those concerned with the decision making process of the current state of the area, any habitats present there, as well as the stepping stone for further surveys that may be deemed necessary. Phase 1 habitat surveys are often critical to assist in the impact assessment of certain projects or developments. The landscape structure is studied, and above all any vegetation that is present in the area will be noted. Landscape architects make use of certain standardised definitions as well as map colour schemes in order to make sure that everything is standardised and properly classified, so that in case the report needs to be used at a national level for future use or for comparisons, there will not be any problems with lack of clarity or non-procedural aspects. Most clients do not consider the fact that even hedges and ditches could potentially be considered as important habitats. However, a landscape architect will explain all this once the phase 1 habitat survey is completed, and also try to make things a bit simpler for clients who do not understand the jargon and the legal aspects of such issues.

Phase 1 Habitat Survey Mapping. Image credit: Applied Ecology

Phase 1 Habitat Survey Mapping. Image credit: Applied Ecology

For those who have never seen phase 1 habitat surveys and what they look like, suffice it to say that it is basically just like a colourful map of the area. There will also be a number of target notes, so as to provide additional information on certain points of interest or any habitats that are too small to map out. Phase 1 habitat surveys are very useful and sometimes extended phase 1 habitat surveys are considered necessary if more detailed information is required about the site. This is often the case with large developments. An extended phase 1 habitat survey would also include additional information such as botanical species, and, appraisals of areas that could be habitats for legally protected species. However the first step is to carry out a phase 1 habitat survey, which is to an extent a kind of site assessment, to put it simply. Once the types of habitats present are determined by this first survey, there will then be a better idea as to whether it would be better to carry out more extended surveys, which will target specific aspects.

Kent Bat: Image credit: Kent Bat Group

Kent Bat. Image credit: Kent Bat Group

In Kent and in UK in general, there are a number of common protected species that are often found in lowland habitats, such as bats, otters, badgers, water voles, certain reptiles and breeding birds. Protected species are often the second phase of ecological site assessments, and this is technically referred to as a phase 2 survey, where there will be a lot of emphasis placed on the vegetation. However in the case of lowland developments this type of vegetation survey is often not necessary.

Phase 1 habitat surveys are best conducted between April and October, for the simple reason that during this period most deciduous as well as annual species of plants are more identifiable. Phase 1 habitat surveys take a landscape approach. Flora and fauna can be studied in areas that are more rural and it is a fascinating experience considering that often the landscape architect will need to go in deep ditches, dense hedges and other areas which may not be that easily accessible. However this is part of the beauty of carrying out phase 1 habitat surveys. Should you need such a survey, make sure you hire a professional and experienced specialist to take care of this for you, so as to put your mind to rest that it will be handled with utmost care and professionalism.

Finding the perfect Kent SEO Company as your marketing partner

Make your selection process simple, quick and effective

As more and more businesses go online, the demand for high organic search rankings increases hugely. Competing companies in related industry sectors grow, the market shrinks and the desire to become the most prominent company on local and national searches becomes all the more important. The world’s gone totally online and in this age of data, occupying the right digital space means the difference between profit and loss.

Small businesses are quickly discovering that local search prominence is just as important, if not greater than being known nationally. The age of the printed yellow pages directory is long gone and with mobile devices being continuously connected and sharing information online, you need to find ways to get ahead of the pack in your immediate town or city. Local SEO represents the answer to this current challenge.

So how do you go about ensuring your business is prominent in all forms of local searches and directories?

Your best decision could be to speak to a local search engine optimisation expert in your city. In the UK, the home counties outside of the central London areas are displaying the fastest rate of growth so businesses in counties such as Kent are getting back on their feet after the economic woes of 2007-2008.

It’s fair to say that there is a huge amount of choice when looking for a SEO supplier but the truth remains today that a large bulk of these suppliers are not providing a quality of service that will have longer term benefits. Unfortunately, the search engine optimisation industry has been mired with a reputation for offering poor quality work, a “hit and run” mentality and a generally poor live of customer service. Finding a supplier that isn’t going to take your money and waste it is a tough ask. But there are some extremely talented SEO’s out there who do know what they’re doing and do know how to get results.

If you need to get found on Google’s local results, the best key points to consider have to be:

1) Stay Local – forget overseas suppliers, no matter how tempting their extremely cheap offerings may appear. In the SEO world, the phrase “you get what you pay for” could never be truer so stick to a company or freelancer that is based close by so you can conduct regular get togethers and stay in touch to ensure transparency and clarity in the work they are carrying out.

2) Reviews – spend a couple of hours checking into the online reputations of any local SEO you are considering. Don’t expect glowing reviews across the board as for every handful of happy clients, there’s always one or two that is never satisfied. But, if their overall profile seems to be on the positive side, they could be a potential suitor.

3) Ranking – any SEO who knows what they’re doing should rank pretty darn well themselves right? So if a local SEO firm is not ranking well on Google, chances are they’ll struggle to do the same for you. So in this case, you can judge a book by its cover!

4) Expectations – don’t expect miracles the second you shake hands. SEO whether local or national does take time. There’s no magic overnight formula to getting position 1 on page 1 of Google, otherwise we’d all be doing it, right? So make sure you discuss realistic timeframes when your chosen SEO believes you will start to see results and get a return on your investment.

5) Trust – the most vital ingredient when hiring an SEO is to have a complete and full understanding. Good SEO’s usually require access to a lot of your digital infrastructure such as website source code, social media, webmaster tools and analytics accounts. Without these, they will be extremely hampered in their abilities to do the job to its fullest and most effective. So if you have any issues allowing this type of access to your accounts, you need to consider if SEO offers the right path for you. But if you do allow that kind of access, the results will be well worth it!

So good luck with your searches. If you do find a good local SEO, it could be the best investment you made in your business for years and once the results start to show, you can look forward to seeing the competition as a distant object in your rear view mirror.

Kent SEO Company

London Office Cleaning: How to find the best firms

Britain’s capital is awash with facilities and property maintenance firms. In fact, if you walk down most streets of any borough in London, you’re bound to have passed or tripped over a few on the way to the next intersection. The fact is, the city of London is packed full of real estate, most of which is in constant use by companies leasing the space to operate, shops renting to trade and of course, tenants wanting somewhere to live. With an estimated population of 8.6 million people and growing, that’s a lot of square footage to clean and maintain.

The UK is infamous for it’s weather and if you speak to most locals, they’ll tell you that during certain times of the year, you can get all four seasons in one day! With such varying degrees in temperature, moisture, humidity and if you’re lucky, sunshine and heat, that can play havoc on most buildings. In a capital that is full of old and new buildings, degradation and deterioration is commonplace. And with many landlords and property owners insisting that maintenance is carried out regularly, and at times solely by the tenants, that a big responsibility to have to endure not to mention a costly one.

So it’s unsurprising that there’s a massive number of sole traders, start-ups and small businesses all offering to maintain buildings and office spaces all across the capital. Sadly with such a wide choice on offer, there’s plenty of good, bad and downright ugly out there. Unlike the US where there’s a lot of regulations such as permits and licence requirements to carry out maintenance, for the most part the UK does not have such tight controls. Aside from gas and electrical issues, most building works and handyman activities are not greatly overseen and that has led to an increase in poor quality workmanship which frankly, nobody likes!

As a result, it makes life very hard to find the right type of people. So if you’re in need of a solid, reliable and knowledgeable property maintenance firm, where do you look and how do you start? Well, here’s a few good tips to get you on the right track:

1) Word of Mouth
There’s nothing quite like getting a referral from someone who already uses a maintenance firm. If you know a neighbour, a fellow landlord or another company who actively uses a property and facilities maintenance company, find out what they think and how much they cost. If they give a glowing review, perhaps your search is over and you should use the same company.

2) Review Sites
Because of the surge in charlatans and cowboy builders in recent years, it comes as no surprise that there’s a ton of review sites out there helping us to make better, more informed decisions. If you have no idea who to trust for your maintenance issues, find out who others have and their experiences by checking sites like Check-a-Trade, Trust a Trader and Trust Pilot. You’ll be amazed at the number of reviews of companies operating near you and you’ll get first hand feedback from their customers and see exactly who’s best and who’s not.

3) Google
Good old Google is still an amazing tool and if you type in searches for local handyman and repair firms, you’ll again get a massive list of local results plus reviews posted to their Google+ pages. Spend literally a few moments on your computer or phone running a search and it will be a very eye opening experience; one that will surely give you all the answers you need!

In an age of information and shared content, we can be thankful that untrustworthy traders will all eventually get caught out as the internet has given the consumer the power back, we can now confidently go out and find a great property maintenance company in London without the concern of being ripped off, scammed or having essential repairs botched or worse, made incredibly dangerous. God luck with your search and use all the tools available at your disposal to make a well-judged, informed decision.

London Office Cleaning