Biodiversity Offsetting – Are We All Ready?

Defra is currently analysing the consultation responses received on the Defra green paper entitled Biodiversity Offsetting in England.  The paper was published in September 2013 and the consultation period ended on 7 November 2013. It is understood that there is general support across all the main political parties to implement a biodiversity offsetting system in some form. Biodiversity offsetting is already being ‘used’ in different ways in development projects, not least within the Defra Trial areas. As such professional ecologists and other professional disciplines, in particular planners and developers, need to be up to speed with the principles, the application of the system as it currently is being implemented, and how it might evolve.

BSG Ecology wins award from the Landscape Institute

BSG Ecology is delighted to announce that our collaborative work with LDA Design (as lead consultant) on the Network Rail National Lineside Vegetation Management Strategy has won the Strategic Landscape Planning section of the Landscape Institute Awards 2013.

Revised SNH Guidance for Bird Survey at Onshore Wind Farms: What are the implications?

In August 2013, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) released revised bird survey guidance for onshore wind farms.  This represents the first substantial revision of guidance that was first formally issued in late 2005 (minor revisions / amendments were made in 2010).  SNH has led the way on this topic in UK terms, and understanding changes in the SNH guidance is therefore very important, as they will be reflected in consultee expectations with regard to survey work throughout the UK.

Training for Professionals – Great Crested Newts and Mitigation

All over the country long strips of plastic fencing are now a common sight – a sign that an increasing number of ecologists and contractors are instigating great crested newt mitigation schemes.

Sound ecological knowledge and evidence-based application of this should inform how professional ecologists go about their business, and underpinning this is their proper training and development.

RenewableUK Conference 2013

BSG Ecology will be attending the Annual Renewable UK Conference and Exhibition at Birmingham NEC.  Owain Gabb, Principal Ecologist in our Swansea office, and Hannah Bilston, Senior Ecologist in our Oxford office, will be present on days 2 and 3 (Wednesday 6th and Thursday 7th November), and Peter Shepherd, Partner in our Oxford office, on day 2.

BSG Ecology works with Buglife on Brownfield Invertebrate Research

In recognition of the growing importance of brownfield (or ‘open mosaic habitat’) for invertebrates, BSG Ecology is delighted to announce that it is working closely with Buglife – the Invertebrate Conservation Trust – through the joint funding and development of research into restoration and habitat creation techniques for brownfield sites.

Seafaring bats – Evidence of Migration?

In 2007 Ahlén et al published an account of bats (both non-migratory and migratory species) foraging over the Baltic Sea at an off-shore wind farm in southern Scandinavia. That study and previous reports of bats being found on platforms in the North Sea (e.g. Russ, 2001, Boshamer & Bekker, 2008) have stimulated discussion about the extent to which bats cross or fly out over the sea on migration or to forage.

Laura Grant to speak at National Bat Conference (13-15th September)

Laura Garnt, a Senior Ecologist at our Oxford office, will be leading a workshop on Bat Migration at the Bat Conservation Trust’s annual National Bat Conference at the University of Warwick this weekend (13-15 September 2013). The workshop will be structured around BSG Ecology’s on-going research that aims to establish whether there is regular migratory movement of bats between the UK and mainland Europe.

Matt Hobbs to Speak at Spurn Migration Festival (7th September)

Principal Ecologist Matt Hobbs will present a talk to the Spurn Migration Festival in East Yorkshire on the subject of bat migration and BSG Ecology’s on-going research project to look at bat migration patterns at coastal sites around England. The event is the first of its kind in the UK and Matt’s talk will be incorporated into a busy programme of events during 6-8 September, that will include guided migration watches, sea-watching, bird-ringing demonstrations, moth-trapping and illustrated talks.

Off Road 4×4 Training

Ecologists Gareth Lang and Rachel Taylor from BSG Ecology’s Monmouth Office, recently went to Whitecliff Off-road Driving Center in Coleford, Forest of Dean to get some industry-standard 4×4 training.  The one-day course has BORDA (British Off Road Driving Association) accreditation and meets the requirement set by the Health & Safety Executive’s PUWER (Provision & Use Of Work Equipment Regulations) Act.  It aims to ensure the trainee has good understanding of off-road driving techniques, both practical and theoretical.