If you are involved in a development project where ecological protection, mitigation or enhancement has been prescribed, there is a good chance that you will require a Landscape and Ecological Management Plan (LEMP) to be produced.


In this post we take a closer look at under what circumstances you would typically need to commision the production of an LEMP and what is usually covered by such a plan.


What is an ecological management plan?

An LEMP is often subject to a variety of different titles, but essentially it comprises a document that sets out how prescribed ecological protection, mitigation, compensation and enhancement measures relating to a development project will be implemented, managed and monitored in the years post-development.


When is an ecological management plan required?

They are typically required in association with larger/more complex development projects whereby a number of ecological constraints and opportunities for ecological enhancement have been identified as part of the assessment process and need managing as part of the development requirements. They can be integral to a protected species licensing application for example, or be conditioned as part of planning permission, they can also be produced to ensure that the scheme is undertaken in line with legislation, relevant policy and best practice.


What does an ecological management plan include?

The contents of an LEMP will vary according to the site and development proposals, however, a typical management plan is likely to include: the purpose, aims and objectives of the plan; the period of time that the plan covers (e.g. up to the first five years post-development); who is responsible for managing the plan and its implementation; an overview of the baseline ecological conditions and the rationale behind the prescribed protection/mitigation/compensation/enhancement measures; prescriptive methods for implementing the habitat/enhancement features and methods for future management of them; and a programme of monitoring and methods of resolution relating to any issues that arise.


How is an ecological management plan implemented?

A person related to the project, in terms of being based on site, is usually given the responsibility for ensuring that the LEMP is implemented. However, it usually requires specialist personnel to actually undertake individual elements of the management plan, which are coordinated by the responsible person. This can include specialist landscape contractors and ecologists who are experienced in overseeing the implementation/installation of prescribed measures and monitoring these measures once in place.


How can The Ecology Co-op help?

Our ecologists are experienced in guiding development projects through the planning process and beyond. We can produce ecological management plans that are tailored for your site and scheme requirements, and can also undertake any on-the-ground supervision and monitoring that is needed during and post-construction. Please contact us with any enquiries – we would be pleased to assist.