News & Views

The UK Government plans to enact the Environment Bill before the end of 2021. This will make the delivery of biodiversity (net) gain through the development planning process in England mandatory. To demonstrate biodiversity gain, Defra and Natural England have developed a biodiversity metric ('the Defra metric'), which has gradually been refined through practical application, and has gone through a series of iterations.[1] 

BSG Ecology is delighted to have been short-listed for the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) best Medium (scale) Consultancy of the Year award. This is the fourth consecutive year we have been short-listed for the Medium Consultancy Award (we won the award in...

On 15th June BSG Director Kirsty Kirkham will be speaking at the joint MPA RTPI Minerals Planning Conference on Biodiversity Gain and Minerals. Kirsty’s talk will focus on the biodiversity provisions within the draft Environment Bill which will result in an amendment to the Town & Country Planning Act and require almost all development in England to demonstrate delivery of measurable biodiversity gain of at least 10%.  This will be calculated using a nationally applicable metric.
BSG Ecology’s Principal Ecologist Gareth Lang has developed a motion-sensitive infrared camera responsive enough to detect and monitor bat roosts. The camera has been designed to allow for more effective recording of bats emerging from or re-entering roosts than off-the-shelf trail cameras currently achieve.

We are looking for ecologists who can lead and / or assist in the delivery of bat survey and, later in the season, protected species translocation work.

In recent years a number of high-profile legal cases have highlighted the importance of air quality when considering mechanisms whereby development can impact on ecological features. These cases include Wealden District Council v Secretary of State EWHC 351 (which considered air quality impacts on Ashdown Forest SAC and established the requirement to consider ‘in combination’ effects for all relevant plans and projects)

This article discusses the current application of biodiversity gain policy to development in England, recognising the distinction between current policy provision and forthcoming legal requirements. Although the progress of the forthcoming Environment Bill is delayed in the Parliamentary timetable until later in 2021, biodiversity gain is already a national planning policy requirement; however, expectations vary between local planning authorities.

The scope of work for wind farm proposals in Scotland often includes surveys for range-restricted mammals including Scottish wild cat, red squirrel and pine marten. Assessment of habitat quality, searches for field signs and camera trapping are all routinely undertaken to inform presence/absence.