We know, and indeed Leeds City Council acknowledged in their Preferred Site Allocations Plan (SAP)that a number of areas need ecology studies. As part of our Green Masterplan, we decided to commission our own; taking the view that an ecology assessment sould be better done sooner rather than later, .
We have had difficulty in finding a professional to take on this task, as so many ecology companies work for developers, which to them seems to create a ‘conflict of interests’, which we do not quite understand ! However, we are now pleased to have found, via a recommendation from AECOM , a reliable and professional ecology company (Richard Wilson Ecology) to carry out a phase 1 assessment on a number of sites.
A phase 1 study is fairly broad based, recording flora and fauna which can be observed at one visit. It will also identify potentially interesting sites which could merit further examination.
Obviously some of the rich and varied species you as residents of the area will have observed over time will not be visible on the day of the visit.
SO THIS IS WHERE YOU COME IN……………………………………………………………………
After the phase 1 study is complete and recorded, our professional ecologist will hold workshops to brief interested amateurs on how to best find and record species in areas he has already identified as being of interest, and others suggested by the participants.
AND THEN IT WILL BE UP TO YOU….to get out there in the sunshine and find what you can.
Your results will then be collated and the ecologist will write a report which will hold weight as a piece of research and contribute to our Neighbourhood Plan’s Green Masterplan project.
West Yorkshire Ecology, who work closely with Leeds City Council and are the authors of the Leeds Habitat Network maps have expressed an interest in what we are doing, as our research could contribute very useful information to their records.