Botanical Surveys


The CEC team is experienced in a wide range of botanical survey techniques, suitable for surveying sites from simple gardens to large areas of internationally protected habitats.

UK Habs

UK Habitats Classification or UK Habs is a new (2018) survey methodology which many LPAs now expect to be used in Preliminary Ecological Appraisals (PEAs) and Ecological Impact Assessments (EcIAs) rather than the old Phase 1 habitat survey technique.  UK Habs provides more detail on habitats than the Phase 1 habitat survey technique. Importantly the habitat descriptions are the same as those used in Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG), which major developments require.

CEC has been using UK Habs for several years, both on development sites and on sites where the primary aim is nature conservation.  This has provided us with significant experience of UK Habs surveying which includes a wide range of habitats and means we are well prepared for surveying development sites using UK Habs.


The National Vegetation Classification or NVC survey is a detailed vegetation survey methodology that classifies areas of vegetation into vegetation communities and sub-communities.  It requires the surveyor to have higher botanical id skills including some bryophytes (mosses & liverworts).  This methodology is more intensive than either Phase 1 or UK Habs and requires the collection of botanical data using quadrats (1m x 1m squares within which all species are identified).

This type of survey is normally only carried out on land that is being managed for nature conservation proposes, although it can be required on particularly sensitive development sites.  If the development site includes or is immediately adjacent to a SAC or SSSI and includes some of the habitats for which the site has been designated, such as heathland, then it is likely that an NVC survey will be requested by the LPA.

CEC has thirty years of experience of NVC surveys which have included large areas of Dartmoor and Salisbury Plain, numerous nature conservation sites within Cornwall, and some sensitive development sites.

If you require any further information on botanical surveys, please call us on 01872 245510 or contact us to discuss your project and requirements. to discuss your project and requirements.


Interested in how we can help?

We’re always happy to chat and share our experience; get in touch and let’s chat about your project, and we’ll help you to move forward.