Ecology Consultancy Services to Local Authorities

Baker Shepherd Gillespie (BSG) has worked with local authorities for fourteen years, developing an extensive portfolio. Over this time our nationwide team of over thirty ecologists has widened and deepened its understanding of local authority needs in an ever-changing administrative, funding and policy environment.

Wind farms, bat and bird survey guidance

The spring and summer bird and bat survey seasons are approaching fast, and surveys for these species are seasonally constrained.

There have recently been changes to the suggested approach to wind farm bird survey in England, with the publication of Natural England (NE) guidance in early 2010.  Potential impacts on bats – very much the emerging issue with regard to terrestrial wind farms – have to date been difficult to assess due to the lack of standard survey guidance and limited information on bat populations.

A new office – a new Director

We have recently appointed Kirsty Kirkham as the new Director for our Derbyshire office, which has also relocated to new offices at Hathersage, in the heart of the Peak District but also on the doorstep of both Sheffield and Manchester.

Bakewell moves to Hathersage

We are pleased to announce that Baker Shepherd Gillespie (BSG) has relocated its Derbyshire office from Bakewell to Hathersage with immediate effect. This exciting step in our development brings with it a number of benefits, including improved public transport links to, in particular, Sheffield, Manchester and Leeds – the new office is next to the station.

Hen harriers and livestock

New research by the RSPB has shown that hill farming plays a key role in assisting the fortunes of the hen harrier, one of Britain’s most threatened birds. This new study, published in the Journal of Applied Ecology, illustrates how getting the grazing regimes in upland areas right, can deliver major benefits for this species.

Pond and wildlife Historic Gardens

Historic landscapes such as parks and formal gardens have an important function for the conservation of biodiversity in Britain because they provide habitats for a range of protected species such as great crested newt, bats, badger, barn owl and water vole. In some cases the features that gardens and parklands provide, such as ancient trees and ponds, are no longer common features of the British Countryside and consequently historic landscapes have become increasingly important for the protection of British wildlife.

Olympic Park visit

Ecologists blissfully ignore 80,000 seat stadium and get frothy when the conversation turns to creating back-water habitats and planted coir pallets” – Vilas Anthwal.

In 2008 BSG was invited to become part of the LDA-Design/Hargreaves design team appointed to prepare a masterplan for the 2012 London Olympic Park, within which the principal venues for the 2012 Olympic Games will reside. Since then BSG has been working closely with environmental consultant LDA Design and the Olympic Delivery Authority on incorporating the biodiversity requirements for the park into the overall design.

Natural England licensing conference

Dr Peter Shepherd was recently invited to make a short presentation to Natural England’s Wildlife Management Advice and Licensing Conference in Gloucestershire. He was asked to give an insight into the role of the ecological consultant in working with European Protected Species. “It was a little daunting, as a consultant, to be presenting to the massed ranks of the regulatory licensing authority, but the talk was well received and some useful views were exchanged. The need for a greater evidence base to support mitigation and compensation proposals was one of the items highlighted as being required in future.”

BSG shortlisted for Sustain Magazine Awards 2010

We are delighted to have been shortlisted for the annual Sustain Magazine awards under the category of Biodiversity for the Building 10 Brown Roof project at Woolwich Arsenal. This exciting project, which has been undertaken in collaboration with LDA-Design for Berkeley Homes (Urban Renaissance) in 2008/09, is one of the largest brown roof projects in London, covering 5,000 square metres.

Turning buildings into bird-friendly habitats

Buildings are important for several well-known bird species: swifts, house martins, swallows, house sparrows, starlings, barn owls and even peregrine falcons.  In the past, birds have been able to exploit opportunities left by traditional building practices and imperfect workmanship. Nesting birds depend on particular features of buildings such as cavities and crevices and access into eaves. By working together, ecologists, architects and planners can ensure that new developments offer wildlife opportunities within new buildings.

BSG highly commended at Landscape Institute Awards

Dr Peter Shepherd attended the Landscape Institute Awards 2009 to receive an award which highly commends BSG and LDA Design for the Thames Basin Heaths project. The award was in the in the Management category.