Preliminary Ecological Appraisals

  • Qualified surveyors
  • Competitive pricing
  • Pragmatic solutions

Smart Ecology offer competitively priced Preliminary Ecological Appraisals from £430.*

A Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA) is the initial ecological survey in the planning process.

It will identify any possible ecological constraints on a site and is often required as part of a planning application.

Smart Ecology complete Preliminary Ecological Appraisals in accordance with the latest British Standard and CIEEM guidelines.

A Preliminary Ecological Appraisal is also known as:

  • Phase 1 Habitat Survey
  • Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey
  • Ecological Site Appraisal
  • Ecological Walkover Survey
  • Ecological Scoping Survey
  • Baseline Ecology Survey

Request a PEA Quote

* Excluding VAT. Guideline price is for a small, local site. Actual costs are based on various factors including site size and travel distance, get a free quote.

Not sure exactly what you require? Our experienced ecologists will provide free, no obligation advice, just ask.

The Process

Survey Calendar

Phase 1 habitat survey


Optimal =
Suboptimal =

Learn More

Why are Preliminary Ecological Appraisals required?

Local planning authorities (LPAs) have a duty to consider biodiversity as part of the planning process. A Preliminary Ecological Appraisal provides the information required by a LPA to assess the biodiversity of a site.

Nearly all planning applications will require an assessment of the ecology on a site and this is the standardised method used.

Preliminary Ecological Appraisals should be undertaken early in the planning process to enable any further surveys required to be scheduled and avoid delays.

A Preliminary Ecological Appraisal will:

  • Identify any ecological constraints to the development (e.g. potential for protected species and habitats)
  • Inform the development design to avoid impacts where possible
  • Identify the need for further surveys to ensure the LPAs requirements are met
  • Provide recommendations to avoid, mitigate (minimise) or compensate for ecological impacts


Preliminary Ecological Appraisals include a desk study and extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey.

The desk study involves requesting data from the Local Environmental Records Centre. This will highlight if there are already any known designated sites, protected or notable species and habitats on or close to the site.

The extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey involves an ecologist visiting your site. You don’t have to be present at the time of the survey, although you are more than welcome to join the ecologist and ask questions. The ecologist will walk over the site mapping the habitats and taking note of any potential for protected and notable species. The survey follows a standardised methodology provided by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee.

If there are buildings on your site we will include a Preliminary Roost Assessment for bats within the Preliminary Ecological Appraisal, ensuring that all requirements for the LPA are considered.

A report is then produced which assesses the potential impact of the development upon the ecological features (habitats, species and designated sites). Recommendations are provided to avoid and minimise ecological impacts. If further surveys are likely to be required by the LPA these will be recommended and a timetable provided. Our reports are suitable to support a planning application. All our Preliminary Ecological Appraisal reports include a detailed Phase 1 habitat map of the site, see an example below.

Example of a Phase 1 Habitat Map