Training & Development

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.
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.
BSG Ecology Director of Health and Safety Richard Wilks has recently completed an internal programme of training aimed at further developing the health and safety culture of the company. Richard’s training included examples from a variety of industries that demonstrated that irrespective of the quality of systems, not all risks can be engineered out of the work environment. To minimise the risk of incidents occurring at BSG Ecology, it is therefore important to build on our systems and the training we provide to foster a staff culture in which individuals see the health and safety of themselves and of others as a core element of their job, an area in which they set themselves high standards, and in which they expect high standards from their colleagues.
On 14 March 2019 BSG Ecology, Womble Bond Dickinson and Scottish Power Renewables collaborated to deliver a seminar to wind farm developers and asset managers on the implications of recent guidance concerning bats and onshore wind farms published by Scottish Natural Heritage, Natural England and Natural Resources Wales. This was the second of two planned seminars on the subject, and took place at the Citizen M Hotel in central Glasgow.
Steve Betts, BSG Ecology Partner, led a biodiversity offsetting and net gain seminar to a large audience of developers and planning consultants in Newcastle on 27 February 2019. A key aim of the session was to share learning and promote good practice. The session set out a brief history of biodiversity offsetting and net gain in England and provided an overview of planning policy, which currently varies both locally and nationally.
As many of our ecologists are actively working towards bat survey licences or assist in bat survey work, we run in-house training to address typical gaps in their knowledge and experience. The training also helps ensure that our bat fieldwork is of a very high standard, and our commercial work is robust. The latest of these training events was a two day course held in our Oxford office in February 2019.
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.