Why Choose HES?

Proven excellence, value for money, honest and clear advice.

There are many hundreds of ecological consultancies operating today, including those trading on the fringes of the profession. As a result, clients are often faced with a bewildering choice of every imaginable ecological advisor ranging from sole traders to multi-disciplinary companies.

When searching for a consultant you may have questions such as: “How do I know they are qualified? What is their experience of projects similar to mine? How can I be sure of a good service?”. We aim to cut through the complexity by presenting the key attributes that should be considered when appointing any ecologist to undertake work for planning applications.

We are pleased to state the following:

Our senior staff are full members of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) as denoted by the MCIEEM suffix so you can be assured of professionalism and honesty throughout the discharge of our duties. In addition, all staff (regardless of career grade) are encouraged along the career path to obtaining this senior rank.

We operate mostly in Hampshire and the neighbouring counties of Wiltshire, Dorset, Sussex and Surrey, incorporating the New Forest, South Downs National Park and Thames Basin Heaths.

Consequently, we have built up a specialist knowledge of the local ecology and are able to make contact with the relevant local planning authorities and organisations more efficiently. In addition, we can undertake survey work more rapidly and assess the implications of a scheme in relation to local authority requirements more realistically than many other consultants.

Following Covid-19 and the rise of home-working, we have staff based in the following locations so we’re uniquely placed to get your project dealt with quickly with minimal expense:

  • Basingstoke
  • Eastleigh
  • Haslemere
  • Romsey
  • Salisbury
  • Southampton
  • Waterlooville
  • Winchester

It is important to ensure that any ecological consultant is qualified and experienced in those fields that require survey. For example, some consultants may claim expertise in bat ecology but have little experience of reptile or botanical surveying. We cover all protected species including bats, dormice, great crested newts, and badgers as well as vegetation and habitat assessment.�?

When the project requires multi-species survey skills, we seamlessly manage and integrate these elements into your project delivering perfect results every time. In addition, all of our ecologists have received training in project management ensuring smooth and consistent delivery of all projects.

Not all ecological consultants will have their own in-house ecological specialists and may use contract ecologists as an alternative. This increases costs and may affect the quality of the work if they are not carefully supervised. Freelance ecologists may not have the necessary support to complete time-critical projects during times of sickness or leave. Our dedicated staff specialise in a wide range of protected species and ecological issues so can respond rapidly and effectively to your project’s requirements.

We maintain current Natural England survey (and mitigation) licences for European Protected Species (EPS) including badgers, bats, dormice, great crested newts, as well as other species not typically associated with development sites. Such licences are only granted to ecologists who have proven competence with the species concerned. You can therefore rest assured that we are completely licenced and qualified for the work we undertake, rather than simply employing consultancies who lack the necessary expertise or have to rely on unpredictable subcontractors.

We also hold Bat Mitigation Class Licences (WML-CL21, formerly known as Bat Low Impact Class Licences), Great Crested Newt Low Impact Class Licences (WML-CL33) and Badger Class Licences (WML-CL35) which means we can cut through a lot of ‘red-tape’ to get mitigation done quickly.

We always aim to give written quotes that clearly state the work – and the full cost – that will be undertaken on your behalf. This total transparency prevents hidden costs from becoming an issue. We also hold a high level of Professional Indemnity Insurance for your protection and peace of mind.

Our extensive experience includes large and small-scale habitat surveys, protected species surveys, and the development of mitigation strategies. Our ecologists have worked on:

  • Small builds, refurbishments, extensions, and loft conversions (including renovations of listed buildings);
  • Large and small housing developments (including affordable housing schemes);
  • Road widening and bypass schemes;
  • Pipelines;
  • Wind farms and single-turbine projects

Our experience with engineering and architectural companies means we are aware of ecological constraints and how they can be mitigated through incorporating them into the design, also turning a potential constraint into a valuable selling point or feature.

We can help you understand any recommendations and check with you that they are realistic, cost-effective, and that you know exactly how to implement them.

  • We tell you you what you can do, rather than what you can’t;
  • We show how you can meet your objectives whilst giving proper regard to planning policy and wildlife legislation.

We are a client-focused business, offering cost-effective advice without recourse to unnecessary work. A professional, proactive, and personal approach is at the core of our company values.

We recognise the financial constraints of our clients and we won’t waste your money. It’s easy to keep spending on ecology – we promise to only undertake the minimum work you need for exactly the scheme you want.

Our clients are the most important thing to us so we try to build strong relationships. We have built our business on honesty and integrity, ensuring that client relationships last years not months. We actively seek opportunities for both clients and ecology, often going far beyond the traditional methods of ecological consultancy.

We maintain regular contact with our clients through regular email and phone conversations. On larger projects, we carefully set budgets and monitor costs as the project progresses to ensure excellent value for money.

Our quality of work and high level of client satisfaction is second to none and is demonstrated by the fact that the majority of our clients (over 80%) are obtained by word of mouth referrals. This statistic alone sets us apart from our competitors. Rather than mass marketing, we prefer to spend our time more productively by resolving our clients’ real issues.

We receive extremely positive feedback from our delighted clients, whom often enlist our services repeatedly as and when they have an ecological issue. We are friendly, professional, and always happy to provide a tailored no-obligation quote free of charge, so please don’t hesitate to contact us to see how we can help.

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