BSG Ecology wins Bat Roost Award

BSG Ecology was delighted to receive the inaugural award for best roost mitigation project from the Bat Conservation Trust for our work at Totterdown Barns in Gloucestershire. The award not only recognises BSG’s role in delivering this project, but also that of the architect Mathewson Waters and the developer Rivar Ltd.  Effective collaboration was essential to arrive at a winning design for the conversion to residential use.

Bats and Wind Farms in Europe – Continental Scale Effects?

This article is part of our on-going review of new research into wind farm impacts on bats. It considers a recent paper published in the journal Biological Conservation by Voigt et al. (2012) titled “The catchment area of wind farms for European bats: a plea for international regulations¹”. It makes interesting and challenging reading for those involved in wind farm development in continental Europe, and has some possible implications for future assessment of impacts on bats at wind energy installations within the UK both on-shore and off-shore.

A British Standard for Biodiversity

The emerging draft of BS42020 Biodiversity – Code of Practice for Planning and Development provides opportunities for improved consistency and objectivity across all professional ecologists involved in delivering advice on ecology matters in advance of and during the planning application process. The BS will apply to those working in the public, private and voluntary sectors.

Bat Survey Work in Poland

One of BSG Ecology’s current projects has seen Principal Ecologist Hannah Bilston design and implement a bat survey programme for a proposed 20 turbine wind farm in Poland.

Winwick Wind Farm Public Inquiry

This article provides a brief review of a recent appeal decision for a proposed seven wind turbine scheme in Northamptonshire.  It also continues Dr Peter Shepherd’s review of wind farm public inquiry decisions following his recent note on the Kelmarsh and Watford Lodge wind farm appeal decisions.

Matt Hobbs to speak at RenewableUK Conference, Glasgow (30 October – 1 November 2012)

Senior Ecologist Matt Hobbs will present a talk to the RenewableUK Conference in Glasgow on the subject of the Bat Conservation Trust’s onshore wind farm guidance.  Matt’s talk will take place on the morning of Thursday 1 November (the Small and Medium Wind Installer Session), and is entitled “Applying the Bat Conservation Trust survey guidelines for onshore wind farms: why doing more can mean doing less.”

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.

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.

Getting the most from BREEAM

BSG Ecology regularly provides ecological input to BREEAM and Code for Sustainable Home (CfSH) assessments.  It is our experience that the ecological (biodiversity) aspects of BREEAM and CfSH are an area where clients are often unaware of what is required.  In the viewpoint below, BSG Partner Steve Betts identifies some of the common issues that are encountered, and provides clients with advice and guidance to help them plan their way through the process and secure the credits they aspire to.

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. 

Bat Survey Guidelines

The second edition of Bat Surveys: Good Practice Guidelines has recently been published by the Bat Conservation Trust, and this builds upon the guidance set out in the first edition and draws upon a range of new information.  It is likely that this document will quickly become established as the new standard for bat survey work, and for this reason it is important that developers and others understand the implications for their projects.  Some of the key points are summarised below, and further advice is available from BSG Ecology.