The Delaware Shorebird Project

In May 2012 Ruth Walker, an Ecologist from our Derbyshire office in Hathersage, travelled to Delaware Bay in the United States to make an international contribution to an important conservation initiative for red knot and other waders.  Ruth, who specialises in ornithology for BSG, is a bird ringer and here she provides a summary of this impressive conservation project.

Translocation of Lizard Orchids

In September 2011 BSG Ecology was commissioned to prepare and implement a method statement for the translocation of a small population of lizard orchid (Himantoglossum hircinum) on a brownfield field site near Ramsgate in Kent.

Changing Faces at BSG

The last few months have been a busy time for BSG Ecology with a number of comings and goings.

BSG Ecology’s Facebook Site

BSG has over 30 full time ecologists, many of whom spend considerable amounts of their spare time, as well as their work hours, surveying, recording and photographing wildlife in the UK and abroad.  This interest helps us to refine our survey skills and keep up to date with developments in the ecology world, and our Facebook site provides a forum to share photographs, highlight conservation issues and draw people’s attention to what they can see at certain times of year.

Re-igniting the debate about waders and wind farms: a new paper

The latest in a series of papers looking at impacts of windfarms on upland waders was recently published in the Journal of Applied Ecology.  This paper, by Pearce-Higgins, Stephen, Douse & Langston, aims to draw together monitoring data from wind farms in unenclosed  upland habitats in the UK in order to to determine whether there is evidence that breeding densities of upland birds are reduced as a result of wind farm construction or operation. 

Cost-effective Wildlife Surveillance

There are standard techniques for the survey of many protected animal species in the UK, particularly for those that remain common and widespread at the national or regional level.   These protocols are useful, but taking a formulaic approach to survey work doesn’t always address the question that needs answering.  In certain circumstances the use of equipment such as motion-activated cameras and video recorders can significantly increase the value of a survey programme and allow a greater level of confidence in the interpretation of results at very little extra cost.  Innovative use of technology can also help engagement with consultees and engender confidence in survey results.

STOP PRESS – TALBOT HEATH DECISION PUBLISHED

A decision by the Secretary of State (SoS) on a public inquiry into residential development at land south of Wallisdown Road, Poole was published on 28th February (PINS Ref: APP/Q1255/V/10/2138124). This was a key case called in by the SoS as it involved residential and associated development within 400m of Talbot Heath, which is part of the Dorset Heaths SPA. Understandably Natural England and the RSPB had maintained an objection to the scheme throughout the planning process as this represented a significant departure from their published guidance on development near heathland sites. The decision to grant planning permission by Borough of Poole Council has been overturned by this decision.

Environmental Interpretation: the importance of saying it right

An often forgotten part of delivering the aims of a conservation project or a conservation site is telling the wider-world about what’s going on.  Getting the interpretation right is essential in the promotion of an organisation’s commitment to biodiversity, and can help to raise that organisation’s environmental profile.

Bats in the… blast furnace?

Baker Shepherd Gillespie (BSG) recently provided advice for a lottery-funded project to preserve a blast furnace in the Royal Forest of Dean, an area renowned for its industrial heritage.

Cheverton Down Wind Farm – Review of appeal decision

Dr Peter Shepherd (BSG Partner) was asked to give evidence on behalf of the appellant as the impact on bats was a main issue at this public inquiry. As part of our on-going analysis of wind farm appeal decisions, a review of the Cheverton Down Wind Farm inquiry is presented in an article, written by Dr Shepherd, which includes comments and observations on the appeal decision (issued on 30 August 2011).

The GRO Green Roof Code

Previously green roof designers have had to rely heavily on European or North American technical guidance when devising the structure and specification of green roofs. Although a wealth of information is available from outside the UK, none relates directly to recognised British Standards. The recently published Green Roof Code is a UK-specific document which fills this gap and provides a best practice guide. It will provide a useful reference document for all those involved in the design and installation of green roofs.

Dr Peter Shepherd presents paper at RenewableUK

The two part presentation can been viewed here: Part 1 & Part 2

BSG was once again present at our stand at the RenewableUK conference this year in Manchester. Dr Peter Shepherd presented a paper to the conference session on ecological evidence titled “A Review of Ecological Issues at Wind Farm Public Inquiries”.