To harness ecological research to integrated land management
especially in the coastal zone.

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LAB Coastal,
The Maylands,
Back Lane, Holywell,
St Ives, Cambs
PE27 4TQ

Facilities and Services

LAB Coastal uses the full range of modern survey equipment and also has the experience of an extensive network of specialists at its disposal. It has state of the art laboratory facilities, including equipment for a range of analyses of plant and soil samples, available to complement the environmental monitoring equipment for use in the field. Work can be carried out by L A B Coastal world-wide. Greenhouse facilities, including tidal mesocosms with sophisticated control and monitoring systems, are provided for experimental work on various aspects of the ecological responses of individual salt marsh plant species.


Research is carried out to fill the numerous gaps which still remain in the understanding of ecosystem functions and interactions. The company can offer a range of tailor-made research programmes for specific clients. Present research is centred on studies on the ways salt marshes function and interact with processes and ecosystems in coastal waters and the contribution salt marshes make to coastal defence. Another area of active research is an investigation into the mechanisms that control the mechanical stability and the floristic diversity of sand dunes. Special attention is also being given to the machair found along the Scottish coast. Research in a wide range of coastal habitats can be tailored to suit client needs.


Modern field techniques coupled with sophisticated data handling enable scientifically rigorous data to be obtained for providing baseline information for future management plans or for making an impact assessment. Ongoing programmes of monitoring can be maintained efficiently to ensure the effective implementation of management strategies or to confirm the validity of impact assessments.


Habitat management ensures the full integration of natural and man-made habitats on the coast to the ultimate benefit of all involved in the coastal zone. It can make a major contribution to reconciling conflicting interests in the coastal zone.

LAB Coastal can provide management advice and programmes for a wide range of natural habitats. The company also participates actively in habitat creation schemes and this experience is also at the disposal of clients. In addition advice is available on low cost methods of erosion control for coastal habitats using natural vegetation which can often provide an acceptable substitute for man-made sea defence works.


Surveys are a vital part of any form of ecological management or environmental assessment of natural or semi-natural habitats. LAB Coastal offers customised surveys to gather information on, for example, species, amount, distribution and habitats of the most important elements of the natural flora and fauna of an area; together with the determination of important soil and other environmental factors which can influence their vitality.