BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental
Assessment Methods) and the Code for Sustainable
Homes are used to assess the environmental performance
of buildings, and act as a measure of best practice
in environmental design and management.
As of the 1st May 2008 the Government made it
mandatory for all new homes to be rated against
BREEAM and the Code for Sustainable Homes criteria.
Although it may be possible to opt out of the
scheme, most local authorities will require this
assessment for new build.
BREEAM assessments apply to a variety of developments,
from offices to schools and private homes, as
well as all stages of the building process. Ecology
is a specific aspect of the assessment and must
be evaluated at the site prior to and post-development.
Critically, the assessment includes an analysis
of the change in ecological quality post-development
and the adoption of ecological enhancement and
For the assessment to be recognised it must be
carried out by a “Suitably Qualified Ecologist”.
This is based on certain criteria, relating to
the individual’s experience and knowledge.
As Suitably Qualified Ecologists, MKA Ecology
staff are skilled in conducting detailed surveys
and preparing independent ecological reports
using BREEAM assessment guidelines and criteria.
We will assist you to achieve the required credits,
by advising on ecological sustainability and
enhancements whilst fully supporting your development
objectives. We have undertaken more than twenty
BREEAM assessments in the last 2 years.
Ecological Impact Assessment (EcIA) is the
process of identifying, quantifying and evaluating
the potential impacts of defined actions on ecosystems
or their components.
EcIA in the UK forms part of the Environmental
Impact Assessment process devised to meet the
requirements of the EIA Directive 85/337/EEC
as amended by directive 97/11/EC. The statutory
instruments that applied the directive to UK
law are known as the EIA Regulations.
Production of Environmental Statements by MKA
staff has been undertaken to specific guidelines.
These have included IEEM’s Guidelines for
Ecological Impact Assessment in the UK (2006).
Our staff have been involved with a wide range
of EIA projects for various different sectors
at the local, national and international level.
Detailed knowledge of assessments in the renewables
industry as well as with oil and gas developments
has been a key aspect in our staffs EcIA background.
The experience includes all aspects of project
management from inception, data collection, the
EIA process and perhaps most critically, consultation
with key consultees (both statutory and non-statutory)
and planning authorities.
Incorporated into these aspects EcIA are survey
design, impact assessment, mitigation and the
production of concise and successful Environmental
An Appropriate Assessment is required where a development proposal is
likely to have a significant effect on a Special Protection Area (SPA)
or a Special Area of Conservation (SAC). SPAs are classified under
the EC Birds Directive (79/409/EEC), while SACs are designated under
the EU Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC).
The requirement for an Appropriate Assessment
is detailed in Article 6(3) of the Habitats Directive
and interpreted in to British law by Regulation
61 of the Conservation of Habitats and Species
Whilst it is the responsibility of a competent
authority to determine whether there is no adverse
effect on a European site as a result of a development,
it is the responsibility of the applicants to
submit sufficient information to enable such
determination to be made. MKA Ecology are experienced
in compiling detailed and authoritative ‘Studies
to Inform an Appropriate Assessment’ for
a wide range of sectors and have a background
of working in multidisciplinary teams for large
GIS software allows the visual presentation
of complex datasets in a digital mapping format
which can be tailored to suit your requirements.
MKA Ecology has in-house ArcGIS software capability
which enables us to produce clear, easy to interpret
maps to support and illustrate our results in
Our mapping expertise and products reflect the
range of projects we undertake. They range from
Phase 1 habitat maps to more complex mapping
techniques showing concisely the outcome of our
surveys such as bird distribution on estuaries,
bat activity surveys or flight patterns of key
species at proposed wind turbine developments.
MKA Ecology has helped develop and lead wildlife
tours around the world. Our staff members hold
global experience in surveying wildlife. We are
increasingly being requested to give advice on
the development of eco-tourism abroad and can provide
expertise in helping to develop eco-lodges and
wildlife tours in addition to EIA work in remote
We have recently helped develop tours in the
We also have experience, including eco-tourism
and tour leading, within the following regions:
Europe – Atlantic
Islands, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Greece,
Italy, Lesbos, Montenegro, Serbia, Spain and Sweden:
Extensive experience across Europe and familiarity
with European species and habitats.
Extensive expertise in Cyprus having led many
wildlife tours to this country.
Africa – Egypt,
Kenya, Madagascar, Morocco, Rwanda, South Africa
Particular expertise in Madagascar with over
12 tours led to this country.
Travel to Rwanda on behalf of Naturetrek to
organize and define an itinerary for the first
organized wildlife tour of the country since
the 1994 genocide, which was successfully led
by a MKA Ecology staff member in 2006.
Project management to develop monitoring and
management strategies for Endangered (IUCN) mammal
species in collaboration with the South African
Government Conservation Departments.
Asia – Borneo, China, India, Java, Nepal, Peninsular Malaysia,
Sabah, Sarawak, Sri Lanka, Sulawesi, Thailand and The Philippines:
Extensive travel and involvement with the
Oriental Bird Club resulting in detailed knowledge
of this region.
Work has included Spoon-billed Sandpiper
surveys in Southern India, studies of Gurney’s
Pitta in Thailand and wildlife tour leading
in Borneo and Nepal.
Training of wardens in ornithological techniques
in Sarawak on behalf of the World Pheasant Association.
Australasia – Australia,
New Zealand and Tasmania:
Work with marsupials and studies of both mainland
and pelagic bird species in this region.
Assisted with targeted monitoring of the threatened
long-tailed bat within plantation forest, South
Waikato, New Zealand.
Central & South
America – Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador,
Honduras, Mexico and Peru:
Extensive tour leading experience in the neotropics,
particularly in Ecuador and Costa Rica.
Work in Peru includes recommending improvements
to current tours in the region and carrying out
mammal population censuses in order to give recommendations
for eco-tourism within the Amazon rainforest.
The Construction Skills
Certification Scheme was set up to reduce
accidents at work and to provide proof of
occupational competence to private and public
sector clients and contractors.
All staff at MKA Ecology are registered card
holders, holding Construction Related Occupation
(CRO) cards. Each member of staff has passed
the health and safety test in order to be issued
with their CSCS card.
In 2007 MKA Ecology recognised the value of having staff trained under
the Personal Track Safety (PTS) certification scheme. All of our ecological
staff now undertake the PTS Training Certification programme.
The certification allows us
to apply our wide range of ecological services
land defined as “lineside” within
Network Rail controlled land. This is specialised
work with very few ecological consultancies offering
this number of trained ecologists with PTS certification.
The most widespread ecological work in these
areas is baseline surveys for protected species.
These are usually undertaken in response to planned
engineering works or works affecting station
buildings or other built structures along the
Lineside areas can be rich in flora and fauna.
The most common protected species encountered
in these situations are reptiles, bats, badgers
and breeding birds. MKA offers a full service
from original baseline surveys, through evaluation
and impact assessment of the proposed development,
to design, licensing and implementation of mitigation.
have a range of experience in the restoration of
habitats for the benefit of wildlife, which is
a crucial mitigation tool for larger developments.
At its simplest we can design and implement:
• the restoration of
habitat for reptile colonisation,
• the creation of wildlife ponds for translocation
However, we have expertise in much larger scale
restoration projects including:
• the creation and management
of wild flower meadows,
• the design and construction of lakes with a reef
of islands to support breeding waders,
• bird scrapes,
• the creation of reedbeds designed for wildlife,
• Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS),
• the creation of wet grassland habitats.
MKA Ecology is delivering the largest restoration
project in inner London at Beddington. This is
being restored to maintain the range of wildlife
that can be found within this Site of Metropolitan
Importance where we have re-designed major wetland
areas, constructed a new reedbed and are creating
wild flower meadows and wet grassland habitat
to encourage breeding waders.
This is our longest running monitoring project
and involves annual surveys of habitats, breeding
and wintering bird populations and bat activity.
We provide recommendations for action to offset
construction impacts and work closely with the
client to manage stakeholder interest.
Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey is the most common
survey undertaken during the preliminary stages of
a development and it is used to identify habitats
and key plant species, as well as any evidence or
potential for a site to support protected species
and species of conservation concern.
MKA Ecology staff are multi-disciplined, so we
can efficiently identify and address any ecological
issues that could affect your development. Data
are presented in clear reports so you can easily
interpret the potential ecological impacts. A desk
study is included and will assess historical ecological
records of interest which could have an impact
upon the development. Our maps, generated using
GIS software, outline different habitat areas and
highlight key ecological features.
MKA Ecology have extensive experience in ecological
assessments of proposed wind turbine developments
and have worked on 13 wind energy schemes in
England and Wales in the last two years.
This work has included initial Phase 1 habitat
surveys and protected species scoping survey,
through to Ecological Impact Assesment (EcIA)
and studies to inform Appropriate Assessment.
We offer a cost effective and problem solving
Our in-house ornithologists have widespread survey experience ensuring
that any survey data collected is of a high accuracy. The quality and
reliability of the data is critical if it is to be used in collision
risk analysis for impact assessment.
We are also one of the few consultancies that
is capable of undertaking bat surveys at altitude,
using an AnaBat set-up with a microphone placed
at height on either a meteorological mast or
equivalent. This critically evaluates whether
bat activity is occurring at the altitude of
the proposed turbine blade, and allows an informed
impact assessment to be undertaken.
We have a track record in producing concise and successful Environmental
Statement chapters for wind energy developments. We have experience in
undertaking and presenting detailed collision risk models, which assess
the potential impacts of wind turbines on key bird species.
Many proposed wind energy developments
(particularly coastal sites and those in upland
in proximity to European protected sites (i.e.
Special Protection Areas or Special Areas of
Conservation). As such, an Appropriate Assessment
may need to be carried out by a competent authority
to determine if any adverse effects will occur
as a result of the proposed development. We have
experience in guiding clients through this process
producing comprehensive Studies
to Inform Appropriate Assessment, in order for
the competent authority to be able to make an