Referendum Outcome: Has the Law Commission provided a post EU solution for Wildlife Legislation?

Following the referendum result, there is a high degree of uncertainty as to what the result means for the environment, not least with regard to effects on all the existing EU environmental regulations including legal provisions for wildlife. The current environmental legislation, national and local planning policy all remain applicable at this time and until greater clarity is provided by the Government , our view at BSG Ecology, is that it’s business as usual.

Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for Ecology

In this, the first of a series of articles with regard to the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs or drones), BSG Ecology Partner Steve Betts outlines some of the opportunities for ecologists that they present, but also outlines regulatory requirements that need to be considered ahead of commercial use.

Biodiversity offsetting – a way forward for a Lawton Levy?

BSG Ecology recently attended two events in London focussing on biodiversity, planning and the environment. There are many changes taking place in this area of our work and these events proved useful in keeping us up to date on current thinking and practice and on potential future changes to how biodiversity is addressed through the planning system.

Training Day on Badger Survey, Mitigation and Monitoring

In April 2016 staff from around the practice assembled at our Oxford office for specialist training on badger survey, mitigation and monitoring.

The training was delivered by Penny Lewns of Protected Species Ecology. Penny has over twenty five years of experience working with badgers and development and has authored publications on the status of the badger in Britain, techniques for surveying badgers, monitoring populations and estimating the impact of past persecution on the numbers of badgers. She has held 400 badger licences across the UK, and is one of the most experienced badger specialists in the country.

BSG Ecology exhibiting at the All Energy Conference, Glasgow

BSG Ecology’s Greg Chamberlain, Owain Gabb, Helen Simmons and Rachel Taylor will be attending the All Energy Conference at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC), Glasgow on 4-5 May 2016.

We are currently working on energy projects throughout the UK and Ireland, and the team present will have over 50 years of consultancy experience to draw upon. We will be available to discuss ways in which we can provide innovative, cost effective ecological support required for energy sector planning applications, as well as technical concerns, such as the implications of forthcoming changes in bat survey guidelines for new and existing renewables schemes.

Putting Sustainability into SUDS

The benefits of and requirement for enhanced sustainability within developments is now firmly embedded in local and national planning policy in Scotland.  Whilst the provision of ‘Blue-Green Infrastructure¹ can be viewed as a hindrance, as it takes up land with a commercial value, it should also be viewed as an opportunity, potentially adding value to the wider development.

On 17 March 2016, Holyrood, the seat of the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, will host an event organised by the “Living Cities Consortium” directed at major stakeholders involved in house building, construction, public realm improvements and delivery of new development across the public, private, voluntary and social enterprise sectors.  The purpose of this event is to highlight the range of opportunities that Blue-Green Infrastructure can provide.

Designing Cities with Nature in Mind

Dr Peter Shepherd will be appearing on Tuesday 19th January 2016 as an expert panel member at a seminar organised by the Environmental Research Doctoral Training Partnership at the University of Oxford.

This is the first in the Grand Challenges Seminar Series, organised by a group of interdisciplinary PhD students at the University of Oxford, which is intended to “provide a forum to hear from experts and discuss the pressing issues and questions surrounding our environment”.

What are we looking for in a Graduate Ecologist?

We are regularly approached by students and recent graduates keen to understand the skills they need to pursue a career in consultancy work.

The following short article summarises, from our perspective, areas in which some basic experience is likely to be advantageous in securing an ecologist (entry-level) position.

Oxwich Marsh Bird Ringing Report 2015

Bird ringing has been conducted at Oxwich Marsh by Gower Ringing Group since February 2013.

This is co-ordinated by Owain Gabb, a licensed bird ringer and trainer based in our Swansea Office.

The marsh is managed by Natural Resources Wales, and habitats include open water, reed bed, wet woodland and species-rich grassland to the landward side of an extensive area of sand dunes and open sandy foreshore. The entire area is notified as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

Bat use of intertidal habitats in Swansea Bay

During 2015 BSG Ecology provided training and technical support to three Swansea University Master of Science students. This enabled them to complete research on the use of sandy and rocky shore habitats within Swansea Bay by bats. During the project BSG staff gave an initial briefing, assisted in survey design and on transect work, provided equipment and technical support in the use of Analook (for data analysis) and GIS.