01 Feb, 2022


RammSanderson was commissioned by William Davis Homes Ltd to undertake an Ecological Impact Assessment of land at Blackbrook, Shepshed, Leicestershire, to inform a planning application for the construction of a residential development with associated infrastructure and a proposed school. 

The key objective of the Ecological Assessment was to identify any ecological features of the site and assess any risk the construction of a residential development may incur upon them. Our commission was to provide a detailed assessment of the ecology on the site, the species it supports, to provide advice and to help to inform the proposals. This has included:

  • Desk Study Consultation
  • Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey
  • Species-specific surveys; birds, bats, reptiles, badger, great crested newt, otter, water vole and white-clawed crayfish
  • Biodiversity Index Assessment

The Assessment

The site consisted of predominately arable land bordered by hedgerows with parcels of marshy grassland, neutral semi-improved grassland, poor semi-improved grassland, broadleaved woodland, dense scrub, and scattered scrub. The site is also bordered by a brook. Two Local Wildlife Sites and a SSSI were also located within the site boundary.

These habitats on site were found to support priority/protected species. In total, 40 bird species were recorded on site; breeding behaviours were observed across the site from a variety of species, with some species of conservational concern. The site was assessed as having moderate value for foraging and commuting bats.  Evidence of otters in the brook was found, trail cameras confirmed this, cameras also confirmed the presence of badgers on site. 
Notable plants found on site included native bluebells, which are protected, and invasive Japanese knotweed, which should be professionally removed. 
The arable field compartments on site are considered of limited ecological value with a poor range of species. However, some of the grasslands, the woodland and hedgerow habitats were considered of high ecological value. The results showed there would be a gain in habitat units but a loss in linear units such as hedgerows. 


The survey findings and reports will inform the proposals for the site and the necessary mitigation or compensation measures, whilst seeking to enhance the site for its native flora and fauna. Specific recommendations were made for providing further habitat such as native planting, pond creation and providing refuge for birds, bats, hedgehogs, invertebrates and herptiles.   

RammSanderson has a team of experienced consultants ready to carry out Ecological Impact Assessments. Visit our Terrestrial page to learn more!