Site clearance prior to purchase of the site

For sites cleared prior to purchase of the site and less than five years before assessment, a Suitably Qualified Ecologist should estimate the site’s ecological value immediately prior to clearance using available desktop information (including aerial photography) and the landscape type/area surrounding the site. Where it is not possible for the ecologists to determine that the site was of low ecological value prior to the site clearance then the credits must be withheld, i.e. where there is no evidence and therefore justification for awarding the credits.

For sites cleared more than five years ago, the ecological value of the site is to be based on the current situation on the basis that within five years, ecological features would have started to re-establish themselves and therefore act as an indicator of the site’s ecological value.