News & Views

We were delighted to be invited to appear on the recent episode of BBC Countryfile showcasing the Blenheim Estate. BSG has completed wide-ranging ecological work at Blenheim to inform conservation work to buildings, identify opportunities for estate-wide biodiversity enhancement and to provide the evidence base to understand the ecological impacts of projects, such as the desilting of Blenheim Lake (a Site of Special Scientific Interest for its bird communities). This work has been overseen by Director of Ecology, Dr Peter Shepherd, who appeared on the programme.

At BSG Ecology we recognise the importance of training and development for ecologists at all stages of their career. For new recruits we have a structured and comprehensive programme which is complemented by external training and mentoring. ‘Consultancy skills’ is a core element of this training, and is essential in helping new staff understand the culture of the organisation. It is also key to their professional development as ecological consultants, as it is aimed at equipping them to do their job as effectively as possible.

Principal Ecologists Daniel Foster and Rachel Taylor 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.

The Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) Spring Conference 2022 was on the subject of “Taking Biodiversity Net Gain from Theory to Practice.” The keynote address, delivered by Dr Peter Shepherd, Director at BSG Ecology, set out how biodiversity gain has evolved, and what the driving ambitions were (are) that have brought us to where we are today. It also aimed to pose some challenging questions about whether we are delivering against the original ambitions, diluting or losing sight of them through our developing approach, and whether this is likely to make measurable nature recovery more difficult to achieve. This article is based on the address given by Peter at the conference, and brings together some of his thoughts and opinions.
Achieving nutrient neutrality for development in the water catchments of certain internationally designated sites is a growing issue for development, and one that is resulting in delays in planning. This article explores how the problem can be addressed through appropriate assessment and mitigation.
Ecological mitigation identified in Construction Environmental Management Plans (CEMPs) is often presented in a way that makes it inaccessible to Construction Managers. This reduces the chances of effective implementation, leading to poorer outcomes for nature and undermining the impact assessment process. In this article BSG Ecology Principal Consultant Tom Flynn explores how ecologists can translate the structure and terminology of an ecological impact assessment into more accessible text that will result in practical, deliverable CEMPs.
In this article we take a look at the new Environment Act and the implications of biodiversity gain as a forthcoming legal requirement, focusing on the latest developments in legislation and policy and the remaining uncertainties. The article also discusses the anticipated response of local planning authorities, as decision makers for development in England.