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Invasive Species Eradication
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Welcome To Geosphere Environmental LimitedWorking on a national basis, Geosphere Environmental Ltd are your premier resource for Environmental and Geotechnical Consultancy services in the United Kingdom.
Based in the east of England we have offices in Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire. Geosphere Environmental has the depth and expertise of knowledge to help make your projects more cost effective and meet all of your deadlines. We work for you in accordance with the modern requirements of sustainability and the low carbon economy. Whether you are developing a small residential unit or wind farm through to the modelling of flood risk or the improvement of an environmental process, we plan, design and provide pragmatic solutions for our clients.
The employees of Geosphere Environmental have a diverse range of talents and backgrounds within the environmental consultancy and geotechnical fields. We are able to offer our clients low prices and high quality reports due the unique way that the company is managed and organised.
Please browse the sections to the left, these provide a description of the services that we offer.
Geosphere Environmental Ltd carries professional, employers and public liability insurance and complies with all current Health and Safety requirements. All staff, either office or site based, regularly attend Health and Safety and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses.
Policy & EthicsGeosphere Environmental Ltd is a progressive consultancy with a team of forward thinking versatile and capable staff. Due to the unique way that we work, a consultant or engineer that takes on your project will remain with that project throughout its lifetime and will be contactable 24/7 to answer queries relating to the project.
News & UpdatesCheck back here for regular updates...
Foundation DesignGeosphere Environmental Ltd are able to provide detailed recommendations with regards to shallow foundation and pile design using the most up to date software and techniques. We work closely with you -our client- to make everything as simple and as cost effective to manage as possible. You will be kept informed throughout the process of the investigation via our Geoportal information service.
Our project engineers have worked as far away as Dubai on the EUA Coral Island. They were responsible for the supervision and laboratory scheduling of ground investigations throughout the project, most of which were formed on existing islands approximately 4 km off the Dubai cost. The ground investigations included CPT (Continuous Penetration Tests), cable percussion boreholes and window sampling in order to facilitate the foundation design for a number of buildings including a four storey hotel.
SoakawaysSoakaways are typically used to collect surface run off prior to being discharged into the surrounding soil. They are usually employed in areas where the surface run-off cannot be disposed into existing streams or ditches.
A soakaway is constructed in two basic forms. A conventional soakaway comprises a partially perforated cylindrical chamber, which allows the drainage of water into the surrounding soil. Where the soakage must take place at depth a deep bored liner is used. Here the water is transported from a sealed storage chamber to the soakage medium by a small diameter plastic or steel pipe, again perforated in part.
Slope StabilityGeosphere Environmental Ltd use leading software for computing the factor of safety of earth and rock slopes. We can analyse your simple and complex problems for a variety of slip surface shapes, pore-water pressure conditions, soil properties, analyses methods and loading conditions.
Using limit equilibrium, we can model your heterogeneous soil types, complex stratigraphic and slip surface geometry, and variable pore-water pressure conditions using a large selection of soil models. Analyses can be performed using deterministic or probabilistic input parameters. Stresses computed by a finite element stress analysis may be used in addition to the limit equilibrium computations for the most complete slope stability analysis available. We can analyse almost any slope stability problem you will encounter in your geotechnical, civil and mining engineering projects.
Planning & Supervision of Site InvestigationsGeosphere Environmental Ltd can call on years of experience in the planning design and supervision of site investigations. Our project engineers have experience of working air-side at major operational airports, both civil and military.
We have designed projects ranging in cost from £1,500 up to £250,000 for Clients ranging from small one off developers, housing companies through to large civil engineering contractors and the military.
Planning and Supervision of EarthworksOur expertise in earthworks includes determination of soil compaction parameters, specification of fill materials, optimisation of design, monitoring, quality control and performance, design of cut and fill slopes and analysis of settlement characteristics.A critical factor in earthworks is the costs and benefits in minimising the import and export of bulk materials from site. By combining our wide range of experience, with our knowledge of the latest investigation and construction techniques, we are able to provide innovative and cost effective, solutions in the following areas:
- Reinforced Soil Slopes
- Soil Nails
- Lightweight Fills
- Retaining Walls
- Crib Walls
- Gabbion Walls
- Temporary Support
- Surcharge Design
- Vibro Methods
- Dynamic Compaction
Phase I Desk StudyA Phase I Investigation, also known as a desk study forms the basis of the preliminary risk assessment of potential geo-hazards. Undertaken at an early stage of the planning process (at the pre purchase or as part of a due diligence exercise) a desk study can provide early recognition of potential problems, minimise the risk of unforeseen ground conditions and facilitate appropriate scoping of the later stages of the site investigation and present significant savings in the long terms.
Each desk study that we carry out is designed and assessed on a site by site basis. The desk study required for a new power station development would be significantly more complex than a desk study for a simple barn conversion. However, the same procedures would be followed and the level of risk based detail would be comparable.
Data ReviewA desk study contains a review of all of the information available about a site or parcel of land, including the following elements:
Review of Ordnance Survey current and historical mapping:
- local environment
- environmental incident data
- general environmental data
The sources of information may vary from site to site but the main sources may include:
- geological and hydrogeological maps and publications together with existing borehole data on or near the site
- historical maps and aerial photographs, local historical records
- review of owner/Client provided data
- anecdotal evidence
- consultation with Regulators - the Environment Agency, the Fire Service or land registry
Once the desk based data has been reviewed a site walkover will be undertaken.
Site WalkoverThe objective of Site Walkover survey is to complement the findings of the desk based data review. At this point a qualified engineer visits the site in order to assess the following:
- topography of the site - indications of slope instability, spoil heaps or signs of ground subsidence
- geology - exposures of soils and rocks which can be examined and sampled
- surface water – water features, signs of flooding, springs, water-logging
- vegetation - signs of vegetation die-back as a result of contamination of the ground; presence of invasive species such as Japanese Knotweed or Giant Hogweed, trees which may cause shrinkage and swelling of clay soils
- ecology - indicators of protected species, newts, badgers, bats or nesting birds
- contamination - indications of spills, disturbed ground, areas of fill or spoil heaps, old fuel or oil tanks
- structures - settlement of existing structures or the use of asbestos, indicators of archaeological value
- local knowledge - anecdotal information on past uses of the site or past problems in the area
- access and information - such as access for site equipment and location of buried or overhead services.
Following on from the Site Walkover survey a preliminary risk assessment (Conceptual Site Model) based on 'source-pathway-receptor’ approach is undertaken.
At this stage our engineer will be able to advice on economic design of the proposed buildings, construction or remedial works and any liabilities with regards to contamination or other complications relating to protected species of ecology. Professionally undertaken Desk Studies will be immeasurably beneficial both to budget and programme of your project.
What can you expect from our Desk Studies?
- professional expertise
- quick turnaround (we are able to prepare a Desk Study within 3 to 5 working days)
- free support on submission to Regulators and advice on further steps that will enable you to plan your budget and time scale.
Please go to Phase II Site Investigations, if you would like to find out more.
What do you need to do?
Provide us with the following information: site location, size, current and proposed use. Any plans/drawings of the site will be beneficial.
What happens next?
Please contact us on 01603 298 076 or firstname.lastname@example.org
You will usually receive the quotation for the desk study on the same day. A consultant will be assigned to your project and then order any information that is required to undertake the desk study for you. Once your data has been ordered and has been received it will be reviewed by the Consultant.
A site walkover will then be undertaken by the Consultant, who will then produce the desk study report for you. The total time for a desk study for a small to medium sized site will be five working days from instruction to receipt of your desk study report.
Liaison with Regulatory bodies if required will be carried out free of charge.
It should be considered that a good quality desk study could save significant amounts of time and money during the course of a site purchase or development. Desk studies are a requirement under PPS23 and failure to undertake them at the correct time can be a costly error.
Phase II Site InvestigationWhilst Phase I was an ‘introduction’ stage and our knowledge was based on assumptions to interpret the desk study data, at the time of Phase II we will endeavor to obtain detailed information about the potentially contaminated site. Therefore, we will need to plan intrusive investigation that may contain following works:
- Drilling/trial pitting/hand auguring
- Installation/monitoring of wells
- Soil/water sampling
- Chemical testing
- Risk assessment
- Report preparation
- Liaison with Regulatory bodies
Our approach will entirely depend on the site characteristics (size, geology, previous/proposed use) and, as sites differ, scope of works, timescale and costs may only be determined upon a site visit and, preferably, findings of the Desk Study. Once we are provided with all the necessary information, we will prepare a proposal. We are ready to match other quotations that you receive.
If the site is not ‘problematic’ you may expect the following timescale:
PRELIMINARY PROGRAMME OF WORKS FOR INTRUSIVE INVESTIGATION
|Activity||Week 1||Week 2||Week 3||Week 4||Week 5||Week 6|
|Logging and test schedules|
|Addendum gas report*|
|Remarks:||The desk study information will need to be reviewed before the scope of the intrusive investigation can be finalised.
The programme assumes that the laboratory testing will not be delayed.
*The programme of ground gas monitoring takes six weeks to complete under the current guidance. The full interpretative report will be issued in three weeks. The addendum gas report will be issued in week 6.
Based on your professional expertise, we will provide you with provisional scope of works that may be required. However, not everything can be predicted before the intrusive investigation is carried out and thus additional works may need to be undertaken. You can be sure that you will be updated at each stage of the investigation and, if any additional works are required, you will be contacted immediately. None of the works will be carried out without your approval.
If findings of the investigation indicate that the site pose no risk to human health and environment, we can provide Regulatory bodies with this information if you wish, or leave it to you, if that is what you prefer. If significant contamination is identified, we are ready to support you further and design Phase III - Remediation Method Statement.
What do you need to do?
2. Provide us with the following information:
- site location
- previous, current and proposed use
- service plans
- desk study findings (if already carried out)
If Phase I has not been carried out, we can easily order environmental and historical data and incorporate the findings into a combined Phase I/Phase II report. Any planning information, if available, will be beneficial.
What can you expect from us?
- Professional expertise
- Money/time efficient investigation design
- Frequent progress updates (you will be kept informed throughout the process of the investigation via our “Geoportal” information service).
Phase III - Detailed Quantitative Risk AssessmentDetailed intrusive investigations are often required in order to establish ground properties and contamination characteristics (soil, groundwater and land gas) of the site.
When dealing with land affected by contamination, investigations are carried out based on the technical framework for applying a risk management process as detailed in CLR 11 (Model Procedures for the Management of Land Contamination). A preliminary conceptual model and risk assessment is prepared as part of the desk study and allows for design of the site investigation.
By combining our wide range of experience with our knowledge of the latest investigation and construction techniques, we are able to provide innovative and cost effective investigation solutions.
Below are some of the software models and methods we use in-house to determine risk levels.
- Generic and detailed Quantitative Risk Assessments
- Soil Guideline Values
- Generic In-house Screening Values
- CLEA Analysis (Bespoke software)
- Sniffer Analysis (Bespoke software)
- Groundwater Risk Assessment – Consim and Environment Agency P20
- Land Gas Risk Assessment – based on CIRIA and NHBC Guidance
Geosphere Environmental are able to use any of or a combination of the above models to obtain the right criteria and target values for your sites.
What can you expect from our Phase III Risk Assessments?
- professional expertise
- reliable and robust turnarounds
- free support on submission to Regulators and advice on further steps that will enable you to plan your budget and time scale.
What do you need to do?
Please contact us on 01603 298 076 or email@example.com. You will usually receive the quotation for the work on the same day. A consultant will be assigned to your project and then assess if any additional information is required to undertake the risk assessment for you.
The consultant will then undertake the risk assessment; the total time for the work will be five to seven working days from instruction to receipt of your risk assessment. Liaison with Regulatory bodies if required will be carried out free of charge. The time scales relating to the agreement with the Regulators is beyond our control.
Remediation Method StatementsGeosphere Environmental Ltd are designers and project managers of sustainable remediation schemes. Our schemes are pragmatic, sensible and often turn formerly unviable schemes into profitable, viable and sustainable programmes.
Having identified the extent of any contamination through phased investigation and risk-based analysis, the first step in designing a remedial solution is toassess the available technologies and options.
Geosphere Environmental Ltd have a team of contaminated land experts who have the experience and technical know-how to design remediation solutions to address all relevant pollutant linkages.
For every project that we undertake, we carry out extensive consultation with the Regulators and various remediation specialists, in order to provide the Client with a sustainable, cost effective and durable treatment solution. We have experience in providing schemes that meet design and construction needs, gain community and stakeholder acceptance and can be completed within commercially driven time frames.
For more complex sites the appraisals process often involves laboratory or site pilot trials. Common schemes recommended by Geosphere Environmental Ltd include but are not limited to:
- In-situ Bioremediation
- Ex-situ Bioremediation
- DNAPL Flow Path Management
- Surfactant Flushing
- In-situ Chemical Oxidation
- Conductive Thermal Treatment
- Air Sparging
- Soil Vapour Extraction
- Semi Permeable Reactive Barriers
- Impermeable Barriers
- Pump and Treat (Filtration and Separation)
Independent Remediation ManagementGeosphere Environmental Ltd are a totally independent environmental consultant and as such we are able to offer a totally unbiased view when it comes to undertaking the validation of remedial works undertaken by your groundwork, remediation or building contractors. Often it is the case that contractors use inferior materials or cut corners that can damage you as a client both financially and by reputation.
Geosphere have a significant amount of experience dealing with the Environment Agencies Planning Liaison Officers, Environmental Health Practitioners, Contaminated Land Officers and the NHBC. Our engineers have connections throughout the UK and are able to contact concerned parties directly to move your projects forward positively and effectively.
Our project engineers have worked on large scale remediation with consultancy budgets of >£2million with overall budgets of >£10million. However, we are still happy to work cost effectively with small scale developers with a single plot to manage.
We have also provided remediation guidance to local authorities and parish councils with regards to remediation being carried out on their sites by other parties.
Validation and Closeout ServicesOur specialist environmental team will carry out your remediation and validation to ensure that the project meets the approval of the regulatory authorities and to gain CMLs.
Working with our specially designed Geoportal software, clients are kept up to date with progress and compliance during site remediation works, and can be provided with post construction certification and a detailed Closeout Report to ensure approval of the Regulatory Authorities.
Technical Review Services for Local Authorities, Regulators and InsurersGeosphere Environmental Ltd can offer a technical review service to regulators looking to assess the standards of submitted Phase I, Phase II and Qualitative or Quantitative Risk Assessments relating to contaminated land or groundwater. We are able to assess Remediation Method Statements, Validation and Closeout Reports and offer advice as to the integrity of remediation projects being undertaken and if they are in fact required at all.
Geosphere Environmental Ltd can also offer technical assistance with reference to invasive species and hold CPD courses relating to invasive species to help your staff recognise invasive species such as Japanese Knotweed or Giant Hogweed. We offer a 25% discount to local authorities wishing to instruct us with regards to courses relating to invasive species.
Services For Insurers & Loss AdjustersGeosphere Environmental is able to offer support to insurers/loss adjusters and provide comprehensive and quality solutions for everything from small residential to large industrial claims.
ExperienceGeosphere Environmental Ltd is an independent site investigation, geotechnical and environmental engineering consultancy and can provide comprehensive solutions for land redevelopment. Geosphere Environmental Ltd are specialists in the identification and remediation of contaminated land and are experienced in supervision, project management and liaison with the Regulators and other land owners. We are also designers and project managers of sustainable remediation schemes.
Our experienced multi-disciplined team of professional engineers and scientists are committed to providing you with high quality, integrated design solutions, from conception through to completion. We have developed a reputation for delivering sustainable and innovative solutions on time and within budget.
How we can help
- General advice on environmental claims.
- Historical contaminative uses desk studies.
- Pre-purchase site assessments.
- Analysis of responsibilities and potential short and long term environmental liabilities.
- Detailed Investigation and Risk Assessments.
- Liaison with the regulators, affected parties and other land owners.
- Deliver sustainable and innovative solutions on time and within budget.
What is Japanese Knotweed?Japanese Knotweed is the most invasive plant known in Britain today. The plant originated in Japan where it thrives on disturbed ground. It was introduced to the UK in the early 19th Century as an ornamental plant also being used as a feed crop for cattle. The victorian horticulturalist who introduced the plant could not have envisaged the devastating impact Japanese Knotweed would have.
It is effectively a giant herbaceous perennial which grows at an alarming rate of up to 10cm per day in any type of soil. It forms dense clumps of up to 3m (10ft) in height. Japanese Knotweed thrives on disturbance and spreads by natural means and by human activity. Very small fragments of rhizome (underground stems), as little as 0.7g - approximately the size of a fingernail - can produce fresh new plants.
However, it is below ground where this invader causes the biggest problems, as each stand creates a rhizome network that can extend to 3m in depth and 7m in all directions. This makes it a serious threat to construction where it can have devastating consequences damaging foundations, drains and other underground services.
Why is Japanese Knotweed a Problem?In Japan, Japanese Knotweed is controlled naturally by a combination of fungus and insects. However, in the UK, there are no natural enemies for Japanese Knotweed and it outcompetes all our native species for light, water and nutrients.
The speed at which Japanese Knotweed has spread throughout Britain has been nothing less than spectacular. The damage it has already caused to commercial and domestic sites is practically unquantifiable and it now occupies a site in every 10km of England and Wales and is also present to a lesser extent in Scotland, Ireland and other parts of Europe.
The aggressive growth pattern is capable of exposing weaknesses in hard engineered structures such as concrete, tarmac, brick walls and foundations.
Specific problems caused by Japanese Knotweed are:
- Damage to paving and tarmac areas
- Damage to retaining wall structures
- Damage to building foundations
- Damage to flood defence structures
- Damage to archaeological sites
- Reduction in land values
- Aesthetic issues
- Reduction in biodiversity through out-shading native vegetation
- Many insects/wildlife that are dependent on our native plants are lost or in danger
- Restriction of access to riverbanks for anglers, bank inspection and amenity use
The LawDue to the destructive characteristics of Japanese Knotweed, strong legislation is in place to control the magnitude of the problem. Five common legal issues with regards to Japanese Knotweed:
- You can be sued (under laws relating to private nuisance under common law) for costs and damages if you allow Japanese Knotweed to spread from your property onto that of an adjacent landowner.
- It is an offence to cause the spread of Japanese Knotweed under Section 14(2) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (WCA 1981)
- Fine of £5,000 and/or 6 months imprisonment, or 2 years and/or an unlimited fine on indictment.
- The Environmental Protection Act (EPA) 1990, Duty of Care Regulations 1991 state that cut Japanese Knotweed material and soil containing rhizomes must be disposed of as controlled waste.
- It is not illegal to have it on your land
- It is not a notifiable weed
For a full description of all Japanese Knotweed legislation, please refer to the Environment Agency ‘Knotweed code of practice’ here.
How Can Geosphere Environmental Help?First off, if you suspect or are concerned about invasive species such as Japanese Knotweed on or near to your land call us now for a survey immediately on 01603 298076.
Your next course of action is to discuss the issue with our specialists in person, we can take your site specific constraints and determine your best course of action to reliably keep projects within budget, and on schedule. We can also provide an information workshop on request or point you in the right direction for help and guidance on the issue.
The schemes we can undertake with you are flexible methods of eradication – we do not provide a miracle one season cure that may (or may not) work, or warrantees caveated beyond practicality. What we offer is a solid base of experience in dealing with these issues at competitive rates – we can cut through the scaremongering that preys on those affected by Japanese Knotweed and can assure you that the best course of action is clear and achievable. The most important aspect is not to delay, the sooner the issue is identified and dealt with, the lower the overall cost.
For those requiring specifics – we operate all over the UK. Our specialists are NPTC certified, CSCS certified, environmentally aware and are health and safety trained. All of our operatives have extensive experience of dealing with invasive species on developments, private properties, secure sites, airfields and in close proximity to watercourses. The herbicides and methods we use are all certified by the Environment Agency and we adhere to the Code of Practice publications. We are 100% confident you can save time and money using the services of Geosphere Environmental Limited; please feel free to ask us to match any prices for your invasive species eradication.
What is Giant Hogweed?Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) is a plant native to the Caucaus Region and is known for its ability to grow 2-5 metres (rarely to 7 m) tall. Except for size, it closely resembles several other more common and less harmful native species.
It is distinguished by a rigid, dark green/reddish-purple stem and spotted stalks that are hollow and produce sturdy bristles that look like white hairs over the plants structure. Stems vary from 3-8 cm in diameter, occasionally up to 10 cm and the leaves produced are distinctly incised and compound which grow up to 1-1.7 m in width.
Giant Hogweed is a perennial plant which flowers from late spring onwards. Large amounts of white flowers cluster in an umbrella-shaped flower head that can reach 80 cm in diameter. The plant produces an astounding 1,500 to 100,000 flattened, 1 cm long, oval dry seeds. Shoots die down in the autumn where skeletal remains of tall stems mark its location during winter.
Similar to Japanese Knotweed, foreign plants were introduced to Britain in the 19th century, mainly for ornamental reasons. It is now widespread throughout the British Isles especially along riverbanks.
Why is Giant Hogweed a Problem?Apart from its invasive nature, Giant Hogweed poses an additional problem as it is a phototoxic plant. Its sap can cause phytophotodermatitis (severe skin inflammations) when the burnt skin is exposed to sunlight or to UV-rays. This is characterized by affected skin turning red and itching. Then blisters form as UV rays from sunlight burns the skin which due to the sap of the plant, is unprotected from the radiation. These burns go on to form black or purplish scars that can last several years. Hospitalisation may even be necessary depending on body percentage covering. If sap gets into the eyes of those who come into contact with Giant Hogweed, then temporary or even permanent blindness can occur.
The reactions are caused by the presence of linear derivatives of furocoumarin in various components of the plant. These chemicals migrate into the nuclei of epithelial cells, forming a bond with the DNA, causing the cells to die.
The LawDue to the dangerous characteristics of Giant Hogweed, it is listed within the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, which makes it an offence to plant or cause Giant Hogweed to grow in the wild. If you know of any infestations, or suspect plants on your property, do not hesitate to resolve the problem as the plant is a direct contact health risk.
How Can Geosphere Environmental Help?First off, if you suspect or are concerned about invasive species such as Giant Hogweed on or near to your land call us now for a survey immediately on 01603 298076. Do not hesitate to resolve the problem as the plant is a direct risk to human health.
Your next course of action is to discuss the issue with our specialists in person; we can take your site specific constraints and determine your best course of action to reliably keep projects within budget, and on schedule. We can also provide an information workshop on request or point you in the right direction for help and guidance on the issue.
The schemes we can undertake with you are flexible methods of eradication – we do not provide a miracle one season cure that may (or may not) work, or warrantees caveated beyond practicality. What we offer is a solid base of experience in dealing with these issues at competitive rates – we can cut through the scaremongering that preys on those that are affected by invasive species and can assure you that the best course of action is clear and achievable.
The most important aspect is not to delay, the sooner the issue is identified and dealt with the lower the overall cost.
For those requiring specifics – we operate all over the UK. Our specialists are NPTC certified, CSCS certified, environmentally aware and are health and safety trained. All of our operatives have extensive experience of dealing with invasive species on developments, private properties, secure sites, airfields and in close proximity to watercourses.
The herbicides and methods we use are all certified by the Environment Agency and we adhere to the Code of Practice publications.
We are 100% confident you can save time and money using the services of Geosphere Environmental Limited; please feel free to ask us to match any prices for your invasive species eradication.
Ecological Services from Geosphere EnvironmentalAchieve your goals in business and comply with wildlife legislation and policy – Geosphere Environmental Ltd can help you with effective pragmatic ecological services.
Not taking ecology seriously enough can lead to severe problems – long delays for building projects in excess of a year or more, planning permission refusals or being prosecuted.
Many businesses that have worked with us have experienced less delay, lower expenditure and more rapid resolution of their ecology issues than they expected by using ecological consultancy services from Geosphere Environmental Ltd.
Phase 1 Ecological SurveyYou may need a Phase 1 Habitat Survey for one of the following reasons:
- To accompany a successful Planning Application, perhaps as part of an Environmental Statement
- To help determine Legal or Planning constraints for design to keep your development costs down and help get planning permission quicker
- For establishing baseline information for Biodiversity Enhancements, such as for BREEAM/Code for Sustainable Homes.
Geosphere Environmental can help you by tailoring the Phase 1 Habitat Survey to your particular needs in order to achieve your desired outcomes as quickly and cost effectively as possible.
Your Phase 1 Habitat Survey from Geosphere Environmental will give you a more profitable, value-added development with biodiversity, from a consultancy that is actually focussed on delivering your objectives.
In order to save you time and money, your Phase 1 Habitat Survey will follow JNCC guidelines (the industry standard) but also include other assessments as appropriate, so that as many relevant potential ecological issues are identified and addressed within the one site survey visit and report.
Your Phase 1 Habitat Survey assessment may for example, include:
- Mapping of Phase 1 Habitats and subdivision of habitats to more specific habitat types as appropriate
- Identification of the risk of various areas on site supporting protected species or other relevant ecology issues
- A hedgerow survey if a hedgerow is to be impacted to check whether it is a species-rich important hedgerow under the Hedgerow Regulations
- A full botanical survey (particularly useful for BREEAM/Code for Sustainable Homes)
- A bat check by a licensed bat surveyor of any buildings and trees that may be affected on site
- A check for signs of badgers
- Assessment of ponds for Great Crested Newt potential by a licensed Great Crested Newt surveyor
Our advice is based on what is necessary for you to achieve your objectives. You will find there is a clear distinction in our reports between what is needed for basic legal and planning compliance, and what we advise you to undertake for added value. All this we deliver for you promptly while keeping you informed along the way. Delaying discussing your site with one of our consultants could mean you miss opportunities to save time and money, as some of our work can only be undertaken in certain seasons and at certain stages of a development project - so contact us today to discuss how your site could benefit from a Phase 1 Habitat Survey that really maximises your site value.
Ecology Risk AssessmentsYou buy your site, you commission the architect, you apply for planning permission – and then discover that you need to spend the next two years and a lot of money undertaking mitigation for a couple of Great Crested Newts (or some other protected species).
You can avoid this and similar common scenarios. An Ecological Risk Assessment report produced before you buy the site, or start applying for planning permission, would inform you what ecological liabilities you are at risk from and what would be involved in potentially addressing those issues.
If there are no significant ecology risks, the Ecological Risk Assessment report could be submitted to the planners when you apply for planning permission – pre-empting any requests for ecology surveys and saving potential delays from ecology later on in the process.
Botanical SurveysA significant number of habitats are protected under Annex 1 of the EC Habitats Directive, and many more are Biodiversity Action Plan habitats – and as such are material considerations for individual planning consents under PPS9. A botanical survey, such as an NVC (National Vegetation Classification) survey, would determine whether there are protected or Biodiversity Action Plan habitats on your site.
Certain plant species receive strict protection under Schedule 8 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and are therefore a legal consideration regardless of whether the activity on your site has planning or other consent.
Plants are also fundamental to terrestrial ecosystems, so understanding the plants and plant habitats on your site is important for managing site biodiversity.
Whether you want an NVC survey, a survey for a particular species or a plant species list for your site, you are likely to need the sort of rapid and accurate services as supplied by Geosphere Environmental Ltd. You would also find that Geosphere Environmental reports do not just give you lists of Latin names, but also the implications and recommendations for your site in plain English.
Invertebrate SurveysMany invertebrate species are Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) species – and as such are material considerations for individual planning consents under PPS9. An invertebrate survey would determine whether there are protected or BAP invertebrates on your site.
Certain invertebrate species receive strict protection under Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and are therefore a legal consideration regardless of whether the activity on your site has planning or other consent.
Invertebrate habitat requirements are fundamental to creating good biodiversity on site – not only do invertebrates themselves comprise most of the biodiversity on Earth above micro-organism level, but they provide essential ecosystem services to plants and other animals.
With a Geosphere Environmental invertebrate habitat survey (which typically involves a single site visit) you could know where key habitat features for invertebrates occur on your site and whether there is a significant likelihood of an important invertebrate assemblage occurring.
Whether you want an invertebrate habitat survey, detailed survey or monitoring of invertebrates, you are likely to need the sort of rapid and accurate services as supplied by Geosphere Environmental.
Protected Species SurveysYour planning application could be refused if impact on protected species is not adequately assessed, and harming protected species such as bats or Great Crested Newts, even after planning consent is given, could leave you liable to a fine of up to £5,000 per animal or six months in prison. An initial protected species assessment and report may save you considerable time and money, as a thorough assessment and report would either:
- Demonstrate to the local planning authority that no further survey or full protected species survey is required, even if they initially asked for a full survey (see Great Crested Newt Survey for an example)
- Stop protected species becoming a more costly and time-consuming issue later on in the development process by identifying a risk of protected species so that it can be addressed as soon as possible
- Having your potential development site assessed for all protected species risks stops nasty surprises later on – local planning authorities sometimes ask for surveys of additional species very late in the planning process
Bat SurveysHave you been asked for a bat survey? Bats are protected under UK and EU legislation, and harming a bat or damaging, destroying or obstructing a bat roost can result in prosecution and fines of up to £5,000 per bat or six months in jail.
You can quickly find out whether your site has a significant risk of supporting a bat roost with a survey and detailed report from Geosphere Environmental. This would include advice to enable your proposed development or other activity to proceed in compliance with legislation and wildlife planning policy.
Great Crested Newt SurveysHave you been asked for a Great Crested Newt survey, but are not sure a full survey is justified? A habitat assessment by Geosphere Environmental would determine the likelihood of the species being present and affected by the client's proposed activities, and may save you considerable time and cost.
Dormouse SurveysDoes your site have dormice? These do not just occur in ancient woodlands – they are also found in mature hedgerows, for instance. They are most common in the southern half of England. Signs of dormouse activity can be easily overlooked, consisting of nests in shrubs and trees and hazelnut shells that have been opened in a certain way.
Geosphere Environmental could carry out a dormouse assessment that tells you the likelihood of your proposed activity encountering a dormouse issue and how to resolve any issue arising as rapidly and effectively as possible. Surveys for dormouse activity are best carried out during a limited season each year, so contact us today to discuss your site and requirements in more detail.
BREEAMGeosphere Environmental will soon be opening a sustainability department offering BREEAM services to clients.
Please contact us for more information.
Smart WorkingGeosphere Environmental Ltd use a smart working system which in essence is just a 'common sense' way of working to minimise the effect of the companys activities on the environment. All of the staff work from home as far as is practical, minimising the commuting impact and where possible use public transport to attend meetings. Where sub-contractors are required they are always sourced locally. All company vehicles are the most efficient that are available for the task required.
GeoportalEach project is given space on our unique Geoportal system; from there you will have access to all of the raw data pertaining to the report as it becomes available and any correspondence all in PDF format. The Geoportal system is accessed via a unique password and username given to you on acceptance of our quotation.
Log in to your Geoportal account here
Tel: 01603 298076
Fax: 01603 298075
South Woodham Ferrers, Essex
Tel: 07748 645268
Tel: 07920 875755
Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk
Tel: 07920 875814
Geotechnical/Geoenvironmental Engineer (Very Competitive Salary and Benefits)If you are interested in this position, please contact Paul Davies at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ecologist with Great Crested Newt or Bat Licence (Very Competitive Salary and Benefits)If you are interested in this position, please contact Paul Davies at email@example.com
Junior Site TechnicianGeosphere Environmental are looking for a site technician to carry out soil and water sampling across the UK. The role would suit a self-motivated individual with above average grades in Science GCSE and A Level.
A full clean driving license is essential. Please send CV and a hand written covering letter to Paul Davies at the email address below for consideration. firstname.lastname@example.org
CPD CoursesHere you can find CDP courses available for download. Please use the button below each link to email us for speaker notes. Include your name and contact details in your email and we will send them on to you.
Each CDP course is in PDF format. You may require Adobe Reader to see it- it can be downloaded here.
Download: Contaminated Land CPD Course 25th Jan 2012
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Geotechnical ServicesGeosphere Environmental can undertake geotechnical site investigation using in-house Rotary and Percussive Techniques. Our key areas of work are Suffolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Norfolk, Kent, Somerset, Devon and Cornwall, Lincolnshire and London - we do also work nationally.
We can work competitively on small projects such as residential extensions to larger site investigation projects with very complex geotechnical and engineering requirements.
Geosphere Environmental has recently worked on projects with clients such as Carillion, Interserve, and Willmott Dixon across the United Kingdom.
Invasive SpeciesGeosphere Environmental undertakes Invasive Species Eradication and Management across the UK using our bespoke methodology. On average we save our clients 70% on like-for-like quotations.
Geoenvironmental Site InvestigationGeosphere Environmental can undertake Phase 1 Environmental Desk Studies and Phase 2 Site Investigations using our own Rotary and Percussive Techniques and can produce detailed and prompt reports in line with current best practices at affordable prices.
In addition, we can carry out remediation -both consultancy and supervision- alongside our innovative remediation schemes with regards to groundwater and soils across the South East, South West and Central England. We have the capability to work on small scale local remediation projects through to large multi-million pound remediation schemes.
Ecological ServicesGeosphere Environmental Ltd carry out Phase 1 Ecological Assessments sometimes known as Bio Diversity Surveys, Ecological Surveys or Ecological Assessments- across the UK. Geosphere has a pragmatic, development-friendly approach to ecology and mitigation measures.
© Geosphere Environmental Ltd, Head Office, Brightwell Barns, Ipswich Road, Brightwell, Suffolk, IP10 0BJ | Registered in England & Wales No. 7107630 | VAT No. 985 4247 79