The Phase 1 Habitat Classification and associated field survey technique provide a nationally recognised standard system to record semi-natural vegetation and other wildlife habitats including urban areas. This is undertaken by a walkover survey of the site. The output provides a basic assessment of habitat type and potential importance for nature conservation. This initial assessment may well (depending on the nature of the target site) flag up that no further survey work is required. Extended Phase 1 Habitat Surveys builds upon the initial habitat classifications by including species lists and target notes relating to protected and notable species such as badgers, bats, barn owls, water voles, dormouse, reptiles, great crested newts and native crayfish that may be present on site. From this basic scoping exercise further detailed surveys may be required from which mitigation plans and management plans can be drawn up if required.
In many instances the Phase 1 Habitat survey needs to be complemented by a desk top study which involves the collation and analysis of the available ecological data for the site and the surrounding area, including any protected or notable species recorded on or in the vicinity of the site plus statutorily and non-statutorily designated sites. Data is collated from a wide range of sources as appropriate which may include the local biological records centres, wildlife trusts and other sources such as bat and badger groups and from internet based data sources.