News & Views

Kirsty Kirkham spent an interesting and lively day engaging with planning professionals in the North East at the RTPI Technicalities of Planning conference discussing the issues and opportunities brought by biodiversity gain in Local Plan policy. Kirsty talked about the layering effect of Local Plan policies on top of the forthcoming legal requirements (due to come into effect in the Environment Act in 2023) and the challenges and practicalities with applying them to developments now.
In early 2021 BSG Ecology was approached by Catherine Birdy Productions Ltd to provide advice and support ahead of filming of the newly released feature film ‘Catherine Called Birdy’ at Tretower Court, Brecon and Stokesay Castle, Shropshire. This provided staff with a very different challenge from conventional planning-led projects, and an opportunity to help share good practice and promote the profession in a different environment.
On 4 October 2022 we met up at Coombe Abbey, near Coventry, to celebrate our 25th year of ecological consultancy. The Abbey has been converted to a hotel, and is set within beautiful gardens and mature parkland, and was a lovely venue for the occasion.

The first batch of the CIEEM Award-winning BatCam will be distributed to consultants and research bodies this week. The aim of this initial distribution run (of Beta units) will be to secure performance feedback that we can use to help refine the product further, ahead of entering discussions with commercial suppliers that should result in it becoming available more widely.

Achieving a good work life balance can be challenging as a professional ecologist, particularly during the spring and summer when fieldwork is most intensive. It is therefore extremely important to find ways to unwind individually and as teams, through building relationships with others that go beyond the projects and the survey work.

BSG Ecology has been involved in the ecological design and monitoring of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park since 2008.  In late June 2022 BSG Ecology Director Dr Peter Shepherd joined other members of the design team, LDA Design Directors Neil Mattinson and Andrew Harland, to lead a tour around the Olympic Park. The outing was part of the itinerary for the London Festival of Architecture, and the audience included landscape architects, architects and planners.

Ecological consultancy involves the collection of large amounts of data. An effective system to ensure proper safeguarding and management of these data is therefore critical for any consultancy as data are valuable assets, can be costly to secure, and can have a huge influence on important development planning decisions.
During Spring 2022 Dr Jim Fairclough, invertebrate ecologist and principal consultant at BSG, has provided detailed training on invertebrate habitat evaluation and basic aquatic and terrestrial invertebrate survey techniques to staff based in our Wales, Derbyshire and Oxford offices. The objective of the training has been to help staff assess habitats of likely value to invertebrates more confidently, and to upskill staff in survey techniques, so that they can be more involved in assisting and supporting survey programmes.