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Glossary of Arboricultural & Ecology Terms


Arboricultural Clerk of Works

An independent assessment of the arboricultural works undertaken.

Arboricultural Impact Assessment (AIA) 

An assessment that forms part of the BS5837:2012 procedure that evaluates the tree-related constraints to a development, loss of trees, encroachment into root protection areas etc.

Arboricultural Method Statement

This forms part of the BS5837:2012  procedure that sets out how site works should be carried out near trees to avoid accidental damage.


The British Standard giving guidelines to avoid undue conflict between trees and new development.

Duty of Care

A moral or legal obligation to ensure the safety or well-being of others.

Ecological Method Statement

This is a guide on how preparation and construction works should be carried out in order to prevent harm sensitive species or habitats.

Nesting Bird Assessment

An assessment of any vegetation or structures at the site for the presence of nesting birds. This survey is ideally undertaken before works to habitats suitable for nesting birds takes place, to ensure no disturbance to nesting birds and no subsequent breach of wildlife legislation. An Nesting Bird Assessment is particularly important should works be taking place during bird nesting season (March – September inclusive).


Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA)

An initial assessment of any ecological constraints and opportunities that may be relevant to a proposed development: It typically consists of a desktop study and a site survey to identify and map features of ecological value.

Preliminary Roost Assessment (PRA)

This is a detailed inspection of any trees and/or structures at the site for their suitability to support roosting bats; along with an examination for evidence of bat presence. This assessment will used to inform the type and timings of further bat surveys, should they be required.

Protected Species Licence Application

This is a document submitted to Natural England which details the proposed works as well as significant information regarding the habitat of the protected species which is to be affected by proposals (i.e. building for bats, hedgerow for dormice etc.). The licence application includes information on the population of protected species to be affected by the proposals, and appropriate mitigation to counteract any negative effects. If Natural England grant the licence application, it means that the development can lawfully proceed in line with the conditions within the licence document.

Remnant Orchard

Orchard habitat which has been neglected for many years, but may still support declining/dead orchard trees or characteristics of the previous orchard habitat such as notable wildflowers or ridge and furrow.





Roost Characterisation Surveys

Ecological surveys undertaken to determine the characteristics of a bat roost (i.e. aspect, elevation, temperature, exposure, height, size etc.) as well as the numbers and species of bats using the roost. This information enables the ecologist to devise appropriate mitigation should the roost be lost to development.

Root Radar Assessment

A direct, non-destructive measurements of tree root bio-mas and root distributions to be carried out.

Tree Preservation Order (TPO)

An order made by a local authority or other planning authority to protect a tree, group of trees, area of (scattered) trees or woodland under Part VIII of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

Visual Tree Assessment

A standard approach to tree risk assessment consisting of the diagnosis of structural defects and the evaluation of their significance from visible signs and the application of biomechanical criteria.