06 May 2022 BSG Ecologists achieve Bat Earned Recognition accreditation
Principal Ecologists Daniel Foster and Rachel Potter have been accepted on to the Bat Earned Recognition (BER) pilot; a joint partnership project between Natural England, the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) and the Bat Conservation Trust. BER has significant potential benefit to developers, as it gives them the security that they should receive high quality technical advice and will also speed up the licencing process.
Achieving Bat Earned Recognition
The application process is comprehensive, and requires applicants to provide evidence of their competence in undertaking survey work and designing effective mitigation, in addition to a good understanding of bat ecology.
To be accepted as an accredited consultant is a significant achievement for Dan and Rachel, as Natural England anticipates that less than 80 ecologists across England will be accepted in the project’s initial stage.
Advantages of the BER Pilot Project to Developers
The pilot project has been set up to trial a more streamlined licensing system during 2022. Those accepted into the scheme are able to register sites by providing information on surveys, predicted impacts, mitigation design and monitoring protocols (where appropriate) using an efficient online format.
One of the main advantages compared to the current licensing process is that Natural England have committed to a 15 working day determination period once the site registration is submitted, rather than the 30+ working days of the current system. Whilst there are similarities with the Bat Mitigation Class Licence (BMCL) / Low Impact system, the earned recognition class licence is more flexible, and allows a wider range of bat species and roost types to be registered including tree roosts, maternity roosts and hibernation roosts. It follows that by using an accredited ecological consultant, applicants can benefit from a streamlined licensing process for their project.
If you have a site which you think might benefit from the new scheme, please get in touch with one of our offices.