Designing Cities with Nature in Mind

Dr Peter Shepherd will be appearing on Tuesday 19th January 2016 as an expert panel member at a seminar organised by the Environmental Research Doctoral Training Partnership at the University of Oxford.

This is the first in the Grand Challenges Seminar Series, organised by a group of interdisciplinary PhD students at the University of Oxford, which is intended to “provide a forum to hear from experts and discuss the pressing issues and questions surrounding our environment”.

What are we looking for in a Graduate Ecologist?

We are regularly approached by students and recent graduates keen to understand the skills they need to pursue a career in consultancy work.

The following short article summarises, from our perspective, areas in which some basic experience is likely to be advantageous in securing an ecologist (entry-level) position.

Oxwich Marsh Bird Ringing Report 2015

Bird ringing has been conducted at Oxwich Marsh by Gower Ringing Group since February 2013.

This is co-ordinated by Owain Gabb, a licensed bird ringer and trainer based in our Swansea Office.

The marsh is managed by Natural Resources Wales, and habitats include open water, reed bed, wet woodland and species-rich grassland to the landward side of an extensive area of sand dunes and open sandy foreshore. The entire area is notified as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

Peter Shepherd presents to European Criminal Law Association seminar

Dr Peter Shepherd is presenting today to a seminar on  European Criminal Law and Enforcement in England organised by the European Criminal Law Association at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies in London. He has been asked to give an ecologists view of the practical issues faced by practitioners when implementing the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations.

Bat use of intertidal habitats in Swansea Bay

During 2015 BSG Ecology provided training and technical support to three Swansea University Master of Science students. This enabled them to complete research on the use of sandy and rocky shore habitats within Swansea Bay by bats. During the project BSG staff gave an initial briefing, assisted in survey design and on transect work, provided equipment and technical support in the use of Analook (for data analysis) and GIS.

Natural England Low Impact Bat Class Licence

BSG Ecology Partner Steven Betts is now a Registered Consultant, and is therefore able to rely on the Natural England Low Impact Bat Class Licence for sites that have been registered.

This aim of this new system is to provide a more efficient and proportionate approach to licensing for bats in certain circumstances. Natural England’s objective in introducing this licence is to provide a more streamlined service for developers that is appropriate to situations where effects on bats can be easily mitigated (but which nonetheless require a licence to derogate the law).

Bat Mist Netting Training, Wiltshire

Six ecologists from BSG Ecology joined Dr Ian Davidson-Watts on Tuesday 22 September for a training event that also contributed to a (Natural England licenced) long-term monitoring project at a protected hibernation and swarming site in Wiltshire.

Bats at Sea: Look North interview

BSG Ecology’s bat migration research recently featured on both BBC Radio Humberside and the BBC Look North regional news programme on 25 August. Both programmes focussed on the recording of migrating bats at sea from detectors mounted on two North Sea ferries.

Research into Creation of Open Mosaic Habitat for Invertebrates at a Brownfield Site in Peterborough

Under the heading of Achieving Sustainable Development, Paragraph 17 of the National Planning Policy Framework sets out twelve core land-use planning principles that underpin both plan-making and decision-taking. One of these is to ‘encourage the effective use of land by reusing land that has been previously developed (brownfield land), provided that it is not of high environmental value’. Understandably, ¹there is increasing pressure to develop brownfield sites. However, some of these are amongst our most important sites for wildlife, and in particular, invertebrates.

Thermal Imaging surveys for bats: practical applications

Since 2014 BSG Ecology has been using thermal imaging cameras in appropriate situations to determine the presence of bats in trees, bat boxes and other structures; and to identify flight lines and foraging behaviour to better inform the assessment of impacts on rare species of bat. We have been particularly interested in how this technique can assist us in the assessment and survey of potential tree roosts, which is always a challenging task.