Contract terms and Conditions

Expiration: The quotation is valid for a total of 30 days from the date of the quotation unless otherwise detailed in writing by First Ecology. The maximum duration of our involvement from the date of commission is outlined in the quote. A revision of fees may be necessary if delays in the programme result in an extended timescale and First Ecology will alert the Client at the first available opportunity if this becomes necessary.

Health and safety: The Contract is undertaken by First Ecology on the basis that the Client has disclosed to First Ecology any fact or circumstances known to the Client, or which should be known to the Client, which would involve any officer, employee or contractor of First Ecology involved or concerned with the Contract in any hazard or hazardous activity. The Client will ensure that any specific health and safety information or requirement relating to the area and work in question is passed to First Ecology. The Client shall indemnify First Ecology and its officers, employees and contractors from and against any losses or damage arising by virtue of any such non-disclosure. First Ecology will not tolerate abusive behaviour towards its officers, employees or contractors and any individual who feels threatened will leave the site immediately and additional fees may be incurred due to rearrangement of site visit and/or necessary H&S support.

Access: The Client shall be responsible for obtaining all necessary licences, permissions and consents to enable First Ecology to access the site(s). If the Client does not obtain all such consents any additional costs incurred by First Ecology in securing access will be chargeable to the Client at an hourly rate commensurate with the fees detailed in the quotation.

Data and information: First Ecology reserves the right to retain and use any data or information obtained during the Contract (other than information disclosed by the Client specifically on a confidential basis) for its own purposes; including photographs of the site and surrounding area. The Client is responsible for providing all necessary information as requested by First Ecology to undertake the works detailed in the Contract. For landscape consultancy work a topographical survey of the site referenced to the OS co-ordinate system in CAD format and a Tree Survey in accordance with BS5837:2005 carried out by a qualified arboricultural consultant will normally be required. Furthermore, for landscape consultancy work the Client is responsible for supplying all existing design information, in CAD format, prior to the commencement of any assessment work or at the agreed stage of a design project. Any delays caused by, or time incurred in, obtaining this information in the requested format will be charged to the Client as additional fees and may result in a comparable delay to the delivery of First Ecology’s outputs. Any changes to First Ecology’s outputs resulting from iterations following the design freeze not accounted for in the quote will be charged to the Client as additional work. If, during the Contract, evidence is found of the presence of a species or habitat that may be a material consideration for a development, project or other activity other than the species for which First Ecology is contracted to survey and report, First Ecology has a professional obligation to report on the presence of these species and reserves the right to refer to these species in the same report as the species for which First Ecology was contracted to survey. If evidence is found of harm to wildlife and wildlife habitat, whether accidental, deliberate or reckless, First Ecology reserves the right to consult with the statutory authorities. If Planning Conditions or other agreements are found to be broken, whether accidental, deliberate or reckless, First Ecology reserves the right to consult with the Planning Authorities. If license agreements are found to be broken, whether accidental, deliberate or reckless, First Ecology reserves the right to consult with the licensing authority. If any of the above is considered likely to occur, First Ecology reserves the right to consult in advance with the appropriate authority.

Confidentiality: Unless specifically expressed to be confidential by the Client when providing the relevant information to First Ecology, all information supplied by the Client for the purposes of the Contract shall be treated as within the public domain. Where any such information is expressed by the Client to be confidential, First Ecology shall take all practical steps to ensure that the information is communicated only to persons engaged in the Contract and that such persons treat the information as confidential. The foregoing restrictions shall not apply to any information that is actually within the public domain or becomes so after it has been disclosed to First Ecology. All ecological data gathered during survey work will, six months after completion of the project, be passed on to the relevant Local Records Centre, unless the Client instructs otherwise in writing. This is a requirement of CIEEM’s Code of Conduct and will also be a condition of any survey or mitigation licences. Local Record Centres use ecological data to produce information and analysis of their area’s habitats and species, and any data passed on will therefore subsequently be in the public domain. First Ecology also maintains a secure contacts database, to which organisations' and private individuals' contact details may be added. These details are never issued to third parties. First Ecology complies with the Data Protection Act and is registered with the Information Commissioner's Office.

Liability: First Ecology does not accept liability for any loss or damage incurred by the Client because of disclosure of information regarding a site unless advised that information reported is confidential as stated in item 5 above. First Ecology officers, employees and contractors have a professional obligation to report any illegal activity against wildlife to the police.

Goods: Equipment and materials which are supplied during the Contract will remain the property of First Ecology until receipt of payment. Where survey work requires First Ecology equipment to be left on site overnight or for an extended period it is the Client’s responsibility to ensure that site security is sufficient to ensure that no damage or loss of equipment occurs. In the event of equipment damage or loss the Client will be liable for the cost of equipment repair or replacement.

Copyright: Copyright in all material produced by First Ecology shall be and remain vested with First Ecology, unless otherwise agreed in writing by First Ecology.

Fees: Quotation items include all disbursements unless itemised separately. The fee payable to First Ecology by the Client for the Contract covers only the work which First Ecology undertakes to carry out in relation to the Contract as specified therein. If additional expense is incurred by First Ecology to fulfil the Contract due to errors in plans, specifications or information provided by the Client at the time of tender request, then the Client will reimburse such additional expense to First Ecology. Where, at the Client’s request, additional work is undertaken beyond the time allowance, scope or remit of the Contract, this will be charged to the Client at an hourly rate commensurate with the quoted day rate. First Ecology does not accept CIS deductions unless agreed in writing prior to the start of the works.

Payment: Invoices will be issued as specified in the quote. In the absence of specified payment terms in the quotation, payment shall be made on submission of a valid invoice by First Ecology following completion of discrete work stages. For ongoing works, invoices will be issued monthly unless otherwise specified in writing by First Ecology prior to commencing the Contract. Furthermore, First Ecology may undertake a credit check on potential Clients and may request full or part payment for services in advance, or may decline to act for a Client, following an internal risk assessment. First Ecology also reserves the right to request stage payments where the Contract sums involved are substantial and/or likely to be incurred over an extended period, such payments to be detailed in the Contract. In the event of significant delays in completion of the Contract caused by circumstances outside First Ecology’s control First Ecology reserves the right to invoice for work completed prior to the delay. Should an invoice remain unpaid after a 30 day period our solicitors may be instructed to start proceedings and the debt may be passed to a Debt Recovery company. A charge will be made by the Debt Recovery company in addition to the monies owed to First Ecology and any accrued interest charges. We reserve the right to claim interest on unpaid debts in accordance with the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998 as amended by the Late Payment of Commercial Debts Regulations 2002 and the Late Payment of Commercial Debts Regulations 2013. Expenses incurred in the recovery of fees due to First Ecology, including legal costs, will also be claimed from the Client. If a dispute arises between the parties that can not be agreed between them, the dispute shall be referred for arbitration. If the parties can not agree on an arbitrator, one shall be appointed by the President of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. Such arbitration shall be binding on both parties.

Cancellation: A cancellation fee will be charged if the project is cancelled at any stage following formal instruction. Fees to cover all surveys, project admin, management and reports completed, and any costs committed, up until the point of cancellation will be charged plus a 20% admin fee.