Vegetation & Habitat Surveys

There are generally two phases of surveys that are most commonly used, the first of which is a general habitat survey and the second phase is a more detailed inspection. The phase 1 extended survey provides a thorough preliminary ecological assessment and is usually the starting point for most inspections.

The second phase is used in the event that the first inspection indicates a potential need to support protected species. These surveys use a variety of methodologies including the National Vegetation Classification (NVC) system to analyse ecological features including hedgerow surveys, river habitat and invasive plant surveys.

View Case Study Pinner Park

The client wanted to redevelop land under its current ownership for the benefit of the community, but needed a change to current land use and buildings to do so. As part of the development design and consultations Norton & Associates was commissioned to carry out an Extended Phase 1 Habitat survey. This included mapping of the ecological features of the site, assessing the presence of species that might have a conservation concern and identifying legal and planning policy constraints. We set out a range of proposals that could be pursued as part of the master planning process to enhance the biodiversity value of the site, including further protected species surveys of Birds, Bats, Badgers and Great Crest Newts located within the area.

View Case Study London Underground

The Mayor of London Instigated a bio diversity appraisal for London Underground spanning 250km of track. Norton & Associates using the software we created in house, assisted by Atkins Ecology, mapped all of the data into a GIS format. The survey reports and drawings produced, gave the client a baseline habitat study, against which he can now monitor any changes.


If phase 1 & 2 vegetation and habitat surveys indicate that any of the species listed in Article 12 of the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations Act 2010 (as amended), or the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) are on a site, it may be necessary to conduct a further investigation. This type of report provides information on all protected species including the bat, badger, great crested newt, dormouse, water vole and various reptiles.

We have extensive experience on both small and large scale projects and are able to complete Protected Species Licence applications on behalf of our clients, if necessary.

View Case Study Badger

We carried out a survey of 250km of trackside and identified where badgers were present. Once we had an indication of where they might be in habitation, we undertook detailed surveys and obtained the required licenses for our client. Our recommendations enabled our client to complete the required works to his programme.

View Case Study Great Crested Newt

When our client wanted to redevelop land for community use, we were called in to ascertain the presence of protected species. On inspection we discovered the Great Crested Newt. With the information obtained from the protected species survey, various guidelines were produced and options for developing the site were drawn up.

View Case Study Bats

The client wanted an ecological survey of land holdings so that an Environmental Land Management Strategy could be formulated. Norton & Associates was commissioned to carry out an extended survey, which identified bats using a disused tunnel. A full survey was undertaken on how bats were using the tunnel and a report was drawn up with guidelines for their protection. As a result, the tunnel entrances were physically modified to protect the bats’ roost.


We offer surveys to look for invasive species such as the Japanese Knotweed, Giant Hogweed, Oak Processionary Moth. With the Wildlife and Countryside Act having primary control over the release of non-native species into the UK, we adhere to their restrictions.

Our reports provide detailed information about your legal obligation, maps, and your responsibility to the environment. We can produce a schedule of works, management plans and act as an ecological clerk of works to ensure that any proposed works are in accordance with current regulations.

View Case Study Moths

London Underground required a survey of its 350km of trackside land to locate any Oak Processionary Moths . Any oak tree which had an infestation was recorded, data added to LMS and reports submitted. The outcome of our survey was that our client was able to update his Non Native Invasive Species database and issue health warnings to staff and contractors of the moth hazard.


With extensive experience in conducting bird inspections, we offer a knowledgeable service in delivering reports for both individual species and general bird surveys. We are able to conduct most of our surveys at any time during the year, including breeding and non-breeding seasons. As the majority of birds, their nests and eggs are protected under UK law, we are particularly careful when carrying out surveys and are happy to advise on when an inspection should be conducted.

View Case Study Northern Line

As part of a full ecological survey of the Northern Line we undertook a bird survey. Over an eighteen month period we recorded all species of bird, heard and seen. Their location was mapped, data collected and plotted in GIS. Information was recorded onto a database and reports produced which were incorporated in the Northern Line Environmental Land Management Strategy documentation. The content of the report was to be used to guide future trackside land vegetation management. The data was also utilised to create an information leaflet offering environmental awareness to the staff and the public.


Our ecology reports are used for both private clients and large scale developers. It is now mandatory for new homes to be assessed using the code, to ascertain the environmental and economic sustainability of a new build. A number of ecology credits are only available after a qualified ecologist has been appointed to conduct a survey.