January 2019

BSG Ecology is delighted to be able to offer support to clients who are looking to undertake BREEAM Ecology assessments using the New Construction 2018 Guidance. Although the 2018 guidance has taken some time to filter into common usage (as many well established projects have been able to work to 2014 guidance), we have now had the opportunity to apply the 2018 Land Use and Ecology criteria to a number of projects in both England and Wales.
One of our recent projects involved the provision of ecological advice in relation to the restoration of land within and adjacent to a former clay pit in the south-east of England. Ground-nesting birds were a key potential constraint to the restoration of the site. All wild birds, their eggs and nests are afforded protection by law; the mosaic of habitats within the site was considered capable of supporting a range of breeding species.
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.
On 8 January 2019 Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) published “Bats and Onshore Wind Turbines: Survey, Assessment and Mitigation.” This is now the industry standard, and formally replaces Natural England’s TIN 051 and Chapter 10 of the Bat Conservation Trust (BCT) Guidance (Hundt, 2012). It is endorsed by all the statutory nature conservation stakeholders and by BCT. This article provides an initial review of the changes in survey and monitoring the guidance brings, and comments on the implications of these for developers.
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).