Natural England Great Crested Newt Low Impact Class Licence

The Great Crested Newt Low Impact Class Licence follows on from the Bat Low Impact Class Licence that was introduced by Natural England in 2015. The purpose of the Bat Low Impact Class Licence is to help reduce the licensing burden for projects which impact on low conservation status roosts supporting small numbers of bats of specific species.

Referendum Outcome: Has the Law Commission provided a post EU solution for Wildlife Legislation?

Following the referendum result, there is a high degree of uncertainty as to what the result means for the environment, not least with regard to effects on all the existing EU environmental regulations including legal provisions for wildlife. The current environmental legislation, national and local planning policy all remain applicable at this time and until greater clarity is provided by the Government , our view at BSG Ecology, is that it’s business as usual.

Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for Ecology

In this, the first of a series of articles with regard to the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs or drones), BSG Ecology Partner Steve Betts outlines some of the opportunities for ecologists that they present, but also outlines regulatory requirements that need to be considered ahead of commercial use.

Bats in Churches Workshop, Coventry

Katy Stiles, Senior Ecologist in our Derbyshire office, was recently invited to attend a consultation workshop on Bats in Churches Project. The event, held in Coventry in May 2016, was facilitated by the Arthur Rank Centre and organised by the Bats and Churches Project Team[1].

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.

BSG Ecology exhibiting at the All Energy Conference, Glasgow

BSG Ecology’s Greg Chamberlain, Owain Gabb, Helen Simmons and Rachel Taylor will be attending the All Energy Conference at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC), Glasgow on 4-5 May 2016.

We are currently working on energy projects throughout the UK and Ireland, and the team present will have over 50 years of consultancy experience to draw upon. We will be available to discuss ways in which we can provide innovative, cost effective ecological support required for energy sector planning applications, as well as technical concerns, such as the implications of forthcoming changes in bat survey guidelines for new and existing renewables schemes.

Assessing Sites for Invertebrates

Invertebrates are by far the most biodiverse organisms in our ecosystems but receive proportionately little legal protection or conservation priority when compared to more widely-studied groups such as mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles.

Putting Sustainability into SUDS

The benefits of and requirement for enhanced sustainability within developments is now firmly embedded in local and national planning policy in Scotland.  Whilst the provision of ‘Blue-Green Infrastructure¹ can be viewed as a hindrance, as it takes up land with a commercial value, it should also be viewed as an opportunity, potentially adding value to the wider development.

On 17 March 2016, Holyrood, the seat of the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, will host an event organised by the “Living Cities Consortium” directed at major stakeholders involved in house building, construction, public realm improvements and delivery of new development across the public, private, voluntary and social enterprise sectors.  The purpose of this event is to highlight the range of opportunities that Blue-Green Infrastructure can provide.