Why survey for insects and other invertebrates?
Insects and other invertebrates form by far the most species-rich faunal group in terrestrial and freshwater biodiversity. They interact with plant communities, many providing essential pollination services, and are essential in providing food supply diversity for reptiles, birds and mammals.
It is recognised that promotion of invertebrate diversity is essential for the success of wildlife conservation management in very many situations.
Insects and other invertebrates should always be taken into account in biodiversity impact assessments and in wildlife conservation management, whether in small areas, nature reserves or landscape scale schemes, including re-wilding.
Invertebrate sampling identifies key features of the habitats present that are necessary for maintaining and improving diversity including rare and scarce species, and are essential to understand how management can provide resources required in order to sustain it.
Given their importance, insects and other invertebrate are a material consideration for planning authorities when assessing planning applications.
A small number of invertebrate species are protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981 and amendments). A larger number are listed in Section 41 (Section 42 in Wales) of the NERC Act 2006 are those identified as requiring action under the former UK Biodiversity Action Plan and are now known as Species of Principal Importance in England under the UK Post-2010 Biodiversity Framework (2012) and the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).
Some of these and others have been assessed as Nationally Rare or Nationally Scarce. Together, these tranches of species are considered Priority Species and as such are key constituents of the biodiversity value of a site or area.
Invertebrate sampling informs planning authority decisions through the National Planning Policy Framework via the processes of Mitigation, Enhancement, Biodiversity Net Gain and Monitoring, all of which are increasingly required for the successful implementation of planning proposals.
It is recognised that high invertebrate diversity is essential for the success of conservation management in very many situations.
What I can offer
A wealth of experience in carrying out field surveys of invertebrates in a wide range of habitats including brownfield sites, woodland, wetland, arable land, heathland and moorland.
Realistic, unbiased, practical solutions to site-related invertebrate issues.
Geographical coverage of the southern half of Britain and further afield.
Wide or targeted, cost-effective taxonomic coverage, as required by Local Planning Authority scoping, based upon an initial assessment, or according to other client aims or requirements and Natural England guidelines. Rapid assessments from a walkover survey.
Well-established standard general sampling techniques including detailed searching, sweep-sampling, pan-traps, flight interception traps, use of a beating tray, pheromone trapping, pitfall trapping and pond-netting.
Butterfly surveys using transects and timed counts, and moth surveys using moth traps (Robinson-pattern mercury vapour and/or Heath-pattern actinic light traps), pheromone lure traps and larval surveys.
Current Natural England Licence for Barberry Carpet Moth and surveys for other Wildlife and Countryside Act Schedule 5 moths and other invertebrates.
Concise, client-focused reporting to deadlines with expert sample identification of all major insect orders and other groups,
Community analysis using Pantheon software.
Assessment of on-site resources for species nationally recognised as priority, rare or scarce, and evidence-based mitigation, enhancement and management recommendations.
Monitoring for planning conditions and S106 agreement obligations and condition monitoring.