top of page
Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA)

Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA)

A Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA) is the first step in assessing wildlife at a site. It is sometimes called a ‘Phase 1’ survey or 'baseline' survey. The best time to undertake a PEA is between April and September, although the survey can be undertaken outside of this period if necessary.


The appraisal firstly involves a desk study, where aerial imagery and various databases are checked to find out which species and habitats are known to be present nearby. 


A walkover of the site will then be undertaken to assess which habitats are present, and whether or not they are ecologically valuable. The walkover will also identify whether the site has potential to support any protected or rare and threatened species (or has the potential to influence such species nearby).



The information collected during the PEA is presented in the form of a report, with maps and plans, showing habitat types, ecological features of note, and any constraints (for example invasive plants) or opportunities that may arise. This report can then be used by the design team (land owner, developer, architect, planning consultant, landscape architect) to inform the design of the site, thereby avoiding complications and unnecessary delays later in the process. 



It is the purpose of the PEA to identify any data gaps, and therefore the PEA alone is unlikely to fully meet the needs of the local planning authority, for example when submitting a planning application. In the majority of cases, additional survey work will be required to meet this need. Where potential for rare or protected species occurs, more detailed, species-specific surveys may be recommended. Where valuable habitats are found, these may also need to be assessed further, particularly where the PEA has been undertaken out of season. Information on additional surveys can be found here, and are often undertaken to inform an Ecological Impact Assessment (EcIA).


Get In Touch

Our initial consultation is free of charge, with no ongoing obligation. Please get in touch if you would like to discuss your project.

bottom of page