Our Experience

Over the past 30 years, the DTA brand has been associated with an exceptional public sector client base. Since its establishment in 2015, DTA Ecology has been regularly commissioned by public sector clients across the UK.

Please also see our client testimonials for further information.

DTA is regularly commissioned to provide advice in the interpretation and application of the Habitats Regulations, especially where complex or contentious proposals are involved. Some recent examples of our work are provided below.

Ongoing - A DTA Ecology led consortium has been awarded the Natural Resources Wales HRA/SEA & EIA Expert technical advice and training call off contract. Work is regularly commissioned through this contract.


Ongoing - DTA Ecology is commissioned by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (an executive agency within the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs in Northern Ireland) to provide cross cutting advice on the interpretation and application of the Habitats Regulations, with a particular emphasis on application within the agricultural sector in view of associated ammonia emissions.


Ongoing - DTA Ecology has been appointed by Natural England to provide support for air quality advice in respect of the Epping Forest Local Plan Habitats Regulations Assessment.


2020 - DTA Ecology was commissioned to chair a HRA Derogations workshop run by the Crown Estate and Renewables UK


2020 - Environment Agency - a peer review of a complex flood defence scheme HRA.


2020 - North West Leicestershire District Council - a peer review of HRA work submitted in respect of a re-development proposal.


2020 - City of London Corporation - to advise and undertake a HRA in respect of management works within Epping Forest SAC.


2019 - Natural England - following the decision of the High Court in the Wealden case, a DTA Ecology led consortium was commissioned to produce a decision making framework for the assessment of air pollution effects on habitats.


2019 - Shared Environmental Services (Northern Ireland) - to undertake a peer review of local approaches to plan based HRA.


2019 - North West Leicestershire District Council - to advise on the scope of a third 'window' for the current River Mease SAC Developer Contribution Scheme.


2019 - Pembrokeshire National Park Authority - to provide support in respect of their management plan HRA.


2019 - Chiltern and South Buckinghamshire District Council - to advise on Burnham Beeches SAC and the approach to the assessment of air quality impacts under the Habitats Regulations.


2019 - Resource Efficiency Division of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency - to provide peer review services and advice in drafting guidance for their Review of Consents work.


2019 - Monmouthshire County Council - provision of advice on the application of the derogation provisions to emergency works


2018 - Marine Management Organisation - drafting guidance on the application of the derogation provisions for internal use

2018 - Worcestershire County Council - Peer review of Minerals Local Plan HRA


2018 - Nottingham City Council - HRA to inform the assessment of the Local Plan Part 2 (submission version).


2018 - Environment Agency - provision of advice on the delivery of compensatory measures under the Habitats Regulations


2018 - City and County of Swansea Council - HRA of the Local Development Plan


2018 - North Wessex Downs AONB - HRA of the AONB Management Plan


2018 -Northern Ireland Environment Agency - peer review and advice in respect of approaches to HRA across permitting teams


2017 - Natural England  - DTA Ecology were commissioned to undertake a peer review of the proposed approach by Natural England to the HRA of long term management plans for European sites.


2017 - Natural Resources Wales - DTA Ecology were commissioned to provide advice to NRW on the design of compensatory measures under the derogation provisions as set out in Article 6(4) of the Habitats Directive


2016 - Natural England - Following a flurry of activity in the UK Courts over recent years, DTA Ecology were commissioned to undertake a peer review of emerging internal guidance on the assessment of air pollution effects in combination with other plans and projects. 


2016 - Joint commission DTA Ecology were commissioned to provide joint advice to Natural England, Natural Resources Wales and Tidal Lagoon Power regarding the approach to the derogation provisions under the Habitats Regulations as relevant to Tidal Lagoon Proposals. The advice provided has informed ongoing discussions amongst relevant parties.


2015 - Natural England - DTA Ecology were commissioned to undertake a review of the internal templatesused by Natural England staff in their role as a competent authority under the Habitats Regulations in their own right. The review involved provision of advice in terms of consistency with current case law, principles and policy. The work also included recommendations as to areas for improvement.


2015 - Natural England - DTA Ecology was asked to provided a webinar to Natural England staff following publication of three reports which Caroline led on the drafting for Natural England. These reports involved a review of authoritative decisions taken under the Habitats Regulations (UK level) and the Habitats and Birds Directive (EU level) relating to the interpretation and application of the Regulations in consideration of 'Small scale effects', 'Temporary effects', and 'Functional Linkages'. 




Experience in the provision of Habitats Regulations Assessment Training


DTA Ecology has fast established an excellent reputation in the delivery of training on the interpretation and application of the Habitats Regulations and the underpinning Nature Directives. Caroline first delivered training in a more informal internal capacity during her time at the Environment Agency and subsequently within Natural England. Caroline further refined her training approach and style in the delivery of training in a professional capacity whilst training alongside David Tyldesley during her time at DTA. Since establishing DTA Ecology, Caroline has trained over a thousand delegates and has also attended the 'Train the Trainer' course run by CIEEM to further refine her skills and keep up to date with current thinking. Caroline currently delivers a series of HRA Masterclasses in partnership with DTA Publications.


Caroline has delivered bespoke training to staff within:

Department for Energy and Climate Change

Environment Agency

Joint Nature Conservation Committee

Natural England

Natural Resources Wales

Marine Management Organisation

Welsh Government

Marine Scotland

The Crown Estate

Department of Agricultures, Environment and Rural Affairs (Northern Ireland) 

The Planning Inspectorate

and a range of local planning authorities and consultancies




“Many many thanks. It’s been a pleasure working with you on this project and you have made what is a complex process seem very straightforward.” (Sussex Wildlife Trust)
Tel: 0118 973 4700
Email: dta@dt-a.co.uk

DTA News:

Dr Caroline Chapman is delighted to have been elected a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management. She was nominated by her peers and the Institute noted her expertise in Habitats Regulations Assessment and the science of pollution effects on habitats. The extent to which Caroline has shared her knowledge more widely within the profession was also recognised.