Biodiversity

Construction Ecological Management Plans

What is a Construction Ecological Management Plan?

Construction activities can lead to accidents and risks to wildlife and habitats.

Noise, dust, emissions, waste, pollution, disturbance and fragmentation of land are all potential hazards to wildlife. Wildlife can also pose a risk to construction by damaging equipment  or holding up construction activities.

The Construction Ecological Management Plan (CEMP) is not just a record or document, it is a live management tool that helps to ensure developer and contractor compliance with wildlife laws and policies, and monitors supply chain activities on wildlife .

When is a CEMP required?

A CEMP is often required as a condition of planning consent. They make good sense and save costs, and, whether it’s compulsory or not, it’s recommended for all construction projects, large or small.

However, construction works often cannot start until a CEMP is approved by the local planning authority.

Who is responsible for the CEMP?

The Applicant for the planning application or proposed scheme is responsible for the CEMP. A specific condition outlining what the CEMP must cover will be imposed on a planning permission or permit.

An Ecological Consultant will draft the CEMP, detailing the responsibilities of each part of the construction delivery and supply chain, under contract, to audit and implement the site-specific CEMP. The construction team and supply chain will also receive Toolbox Training at key milestones of the construction programme to reinforce their contractual responsibilities.

What do I need in a CEMP?

The content of a CEMP will vary depending on the nature and scale of the construction project and the specific conditions of the site and surroundings.  An Ecological Consultant can advise you of what to consider, and will undertake an initial assessment of the construction plan and identify sensitive areas on or around the site.

Things which might be included in your CEMP include:

  • Who you are and where the site is located
  • Your supply chain and their roles and responsibilities, training and competencies
  • Details of other ecological site studies such as an Ecological Appraisal Report, Protected Species Survey Reports, the Landscape and Ecology Management Plan and a Biodiversity Net Gain Report
  • Risks of construction impacts to air, water and land, protected wildlife species, habitats and the surrounding connecting environment
  • Your construction activities and programme
  • Guiding environmental policies, environmental management systems, and relevant regulations
  • An emergency management plan for accidents and specific hazards – such as spills or flooding
  • Details of how you will audit, review, monitor and improve environmental performance
  • Details of how you will keep good records of incidents, performance and environmental checklists.

How to manage ecological risks to your construction programme

CEMPs provide a baseline from which you can audit and review any risks or accidents that could disrupt and delay construction programmes, or even cause penalties and legal action.

Review contracts with your supply chains to establish clear roles and responsibilities, and set performance targets and audits using a CEMP – this is an essential part of effective site-specific ecological risk management. 

Stakeholder liaison and reporting

Construction can lead to acute, although often temporary, ecological effects and CEMP will help to manage your construction risks and accidents.

It is essential  to work with stakeholders – especially the local authority, Environment Agency, statutory conservation organisations (such as Natural England), and local wildlife groups or interested parties. Clear communication, transparency, and setting good standards of environmental performance play an important part in managing local risks to wildlife.

Your Ecological Consultant can provide support in keeping stakeholders updated, and report on delivery of the CEMP.

Is there a way to prove my development has good environmental management?

There are green awards for construction and good environmental performance, which recognise and reward improvements and innovations in the construction industry. A well developed and implemented CEMP can help you win these awards and promote your business, as well as being a clear sign to stakeholders that you have taken the appropriate measures to protect local habitats and biodiversity.


To discuss how a CEMP will help your development project run more smoothly and efficiently, while protecting the local environment, get in touch. Call us on 01225 459564 or email enquiries@engain.com

Get in touch

To discuss your project requirements, please contact our experienced team