BSG Ecology partner Kirsty Kirkham attended the MPA’s 10th Environment & Mineral Planning Member conference on 28 November 2017 and gave a presentation that focused on Natural England European protected species (EPS) licensing. Kirsty talked about her experiences of the practical application of the four Natural England EPS policies a year on from their launch in December 2016, as well as other licensing changes that are taking place including district licensing and low impact class licences. The event was well attended by MPA members with a keen interest in planning and the environment. In the morning there was a selection of presentations from the MPA representatives which focused on the many challenges that face the industry as a result of the current political climate. As the voice of the mineral products industry, the MPA prioritises the development of good working relations with stakeholders. The MPA speakers set out a pro-active and collaborative approach to working alongside Government and their agencies including Natural England, Historic England and the Environment Agency. These presentations were followed by a series of parallel workshops which resulted in productive discussions about key forthcoming issues for the minerals industry.
Kirsty started the afternoon session with her ecology presentation, which is an area where there is a lot of MPA interest particularly in relation to great crested newt issues. Therefore the new more pragmatic approach to EPS licensing from NE focussing upon the protection of local populations of newts was welcomed. Similarly, the emerging district licensing landscape scale approach, placing conservation efforts for great crested newt in the right areas to maximise benefit for the species, was met with interest. Kirsty’s presentation was followed by heritage and hydro-geology professionals who looked at real challenges that the industry will face in the months and years ahead. The afternoon presentations were followed by a productive Q&A session.
BSG Ecology enjoys working with the minerals industry and we are actively involved in the successful delivery of a number of projects for MPA members across the UK helping them to secure planning permissions whilst safeguarding existing biodiversity interests. BSG Ecology also works with the industry to help deliver high quality restoration schemes.
If BSG Ecology can help you with your minerals projects please contact Steven Betts on 0191 303 8964 / 07773 795789 or Kirsty Kirkham on 01433 651869/07725 822859.