MPA’s ‘Quarries & Nature 2017 – ‘Appreciating Assets’ event

BSG Ecology Partner Steven Betts attended the MPA’s ‘Quarries & Nature 2017 – ‘Appreciating Assets’ event, which was hosted by BBC Radio 4’s Farming Today presenter Sybil Ruscoe, on Thursday 19 October at The Royal Society, London.  The event was attended by a range of environmental and conservation organisations as well as industry operators to celebrate the industry’s contribution to nature conservation.

BSG Ecology uses new Natural England European Protected Species Licensing Policies to reduce costs and timescales for Project Completion

BSG Ecology has recently been successful in securing a Bat Mitigation Licence for urgent roofing works by utilising one of Natural England’s four new European Protected Species (EPS) licensing policies.

This allowed works to progress at least seven months sooner than would otherwise have been the case and meant that significant project cost savings could be made. BSG Ecology understand, from liaison with Natural England, that this was only the second case relating to bats to be considered under the new licencing policies, since their introduction in December 2016.

Government announces further Sale of Military Sites – Wildlife Considerations

As reported by the BBC on 7 November 2016, a Government review of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) estate has concluded that ninety-one sites covering an area of approximately 32,500 acres will be released. This will result in running cost savings for the MoD, and free up land that has the potential to deliver up to 55,000 new homes.

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.

Rewilding Britain – a new way of looking at the restoration of land?

Since the year 2000, when publication of Frans Vera’s book ‘Grazing Ecology and Forest History’ stimulated debate about what our ancient landscapes would have looked like, interest in the concept of rewilding has grown. The book was followed in 2005 by Peter Taylor’s wildland strategy for the UK in his book ‘Beyond Conservation’ in which he set out a way forward for rewilding or restoring and repairing the damaged and truncated natural processes that once shaped our habitats and landscape.

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.

Biodiversity Offsetting in England – Where Next?

Defra confirmed in July 2014 correspondence with BSG Ecology that, ‘there are no plans at this stage to announce a way forward on biodiversity offsetting’. We enquired about the status of offsetting further to the Green Paper that was out for consultation in 2013, and the subsequent completion of the six biodiversity offsetting pilot projects in April 2014. Defra also confirmed in their letter that ‘They [the offsetting pilot projects] will require several months of analysis before they can fully inform our thinking. The final report of the results of the pilot offset projects is not currently available; however we are committed to publishing it.’