Protected Species

BSG Ecology has recently been successful in securing a Bat Mitigation Licence for urgent roofing works by utilising one of Natural England’s four new European Protected Species (EPS) licensing policies. This allowed works to progress at least seven months sooner than would otherwise have been the case and meant that significant project cost savings could be made. BSG Ecology understand, from liaison with Natural England, that this was only the second case relating to bats to be considered under the new licencing policies, since their introduction in December 2016.
As reported by the BBC on 7 November 2016, a Government review of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) estate has concluded that ninety-one sites covering an area of approximately 32,500 acres will be released. This will result in running cost savings for the MoD, and free up land that has the potential to deliver up to 55,000 new homes.
In the third of a series of articles that looks at the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or drones for ecological survey, BSG Ecology Partner Steve Betts discusses guidelines for ecologists to ensure that this technology is used appropriately. BSG Ecology is now using drones to assist with site assessments, as they allow easy monitoring of areas that are otherwise difficult to access.
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.
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.