As BSG Ecology has grown as a business there has been a requirement for more staff to take on leadership and non-project related management activities. To ensure people feel equipped to take on these tasks, training has been developed to meet our specific needs through discussion with our staff and an external training provider. Our first Leadership and Management training day took place in Birmingham on 16 May 2019, and was attended by the BSG Senior Management Team.
In late 2017 BSG Ecology moved to a new cloud-based information management system, Deltek PIM. This new system allows us to manage our resources more effectively, providing a better service for our clients and more effective systems for our employees.
As part of the Continued Professional Development programme for our Welsh team, Principal Ecologist Rachel Taylor led an evening “introduction to great crested newts” in Brecon in early May. Our staff were joined by the local authority ecologists for Powys and the Brecon Beacons National Park (BBNP), and a planning officer from BBNP.
Bat survey work needs to be designed in a project-specific manner to allow impacts on populations to be accurately assessed, effects mitigated and licenses achieved.
Our latest graduate training workshop, held in April 2019, provided attendees with the opportunity to discuss the scope and specification of bat surveys when faced with different development scenarios. It also included a field-based training session on tree assessment.
Environmental DNA (eDNA) survey can provide a rapid and cost effective means of determining the presence or likely absence of great crested newts. This short article gives some insight into the benefits and limitations of the technique.
BSG Ecology are delighted to announce that we are able to offer Bat Low Impact (BLIMP) licensing in Scotland alongside the Bat Mitigation Class Licence (BMCL) in England. The purpose of these licences is to provide a streamlined approach to protected species licensing for bats in situations where a development is predicted to have limited impacts on bats.
At BSG, we regularly use thermal imaging technology to supplement more standard methods of data collection, and answer questions that need to be addressed in Ecological Impact Assessment and Habitats Regulations Assessment work. In some circumstances, it can provide a more robust evidence base for our clients’ projects. The value of thermal imaging in wildlife recording has been recognised by NHBS, the largest supplier of wildlife, ecology and conservation books and equipment in Europe, who have used footage provided by BSG in their latest article entitled ‘NHBS Guide to Night Vision and Thermal Optics.’ Most of this footage has been collected in the course of commercial work.
BSG Ecology is delighted to have been short-listed for two prestigious CIEEM awards; Medium Scale Consultancy of the Year and the Small Scale Mitigation and Enhancement Award.
Having won the Medium Scale Consultancy of the Year award in 2018, it is very exciting to be short-listed for a second year.
As the number of solar farms in the UK increases, there is growing interest in the interactions of wildlife with ground-mounted solar photovoltaic panels. Evidence of whether operational solar farms impact on biodiversity remains limited, however, particularly in a UK context. To address this, BSG Ecology has undertaken a literature review of worldwide research on the evidence of the impacts of solar farms on biodiversity.
On 4 April 2019 BSG Ecology, DEFRA and LDA Design collaborated to deliver a breakfast seminar on biodiversity net gain. The seminar brought together attendees from local planning authorities and Homes England, with those from the higher education, minerals and house building sectors.
BSG Ecology has recently completed a badger survey, for the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust (BBOWT) on their Chimney Meadows reserve. Part of the reserve was also covered by a bait marking survey. This has revealed that there are three different badger clans using the area covered, has allowed a better understanding of the size of badger territories and of which setts are used by the different groups. This will inform the detail of BBOWT’s approach to vaccination of badgers (against bovine tuberculosis), as well as giving more insight into how clans use the reserve and interact with each other.