News & Views

In recognition of the growing importance of brownfield (or ‘open mosaic habitat’) for invertebrates, BSG Ecology is delighted to announce that it is working closely with Buglife - the Invertebrate Conservation Trust – through the joint funding and development of research into restoration and habitat creation techniques for brownfield sites.
In 2007 Ahlén et al published an account of bats (both non-migratory and migratory species) foraging over the Baltic Sea at an off-shore wind farm in southern Scandinavia. That study and previous reports of bats being found on platforms in the North Sea (e.g. Russ, 2001, Boshamer & Bekker, 2008) have stimulated discussion about the extent to which bats cross or fly out over the sea on migration or to forage.
Laura Garnt, a Senior Ecologist at our Oxford office, will be leading a workshop on Bat Migration at the Bat Conservation Trust’s annual National Bat Conference at the University of Warwick this weekend (13-15 September 2013). The workshop will be structured around BSG Ecology’s on-going research that aims to establish whether there is regular migratory movement of bats between the UK and mainland Europe.
Principal Ecologist Matt Hobbs will present a talk to the Spurn Migration Festival in East Yorkshire on the subject of bat migration and BSG Ecology’s on-going research project to look at bat migration patterns at coastal sites around England. The event is the first of its kind in the UK and Matt’s talk will be incorporated into a busy programme of events during 6-8 September, that will include guided migration watches, sea-watching, bird-ringing demonstrations, moth-trapping and illustrated talks.
Ecologists Gareth Lang and Rachel Taylor from BSG Ecology’s Newport Office, recently went to Whitecliff Off-road Driving Center in Coleford, Forest of Dean to get some industry-standard 4x4 training.  The one-day course has BORDA (British Off Road Driving Association) accreditation and meets the requirement set by the Health & Safety Executive’s PUWER (Provision & Use Of Work Equipment Regulations) Act.  It aims to ensure the trainee has good understanding of off-road driving techniques, both practical and theoretical.
This video shows an emergence of lesser horseshoe bats from the roof space of a building near a Monmouth office. It was taken during a training evening on Monday 22nd July 2013.
The development of a biodiversity offsetting scheme has been in the pipeline for some time, and a pilot scheme devised by Defra has recently come to an end. In essence, the Defra ‘metrics’ approach enables biodiversity credits to be calculated for habitats that will be unavoidably lost, and an equivalent value of credits provided through habitat restoration or creation to compensate for this loss.
At BSG Ecology we routinely field requests for invertebrate surveys. These can take many forms, but typically include: surveys of sites with potential to support invertebrate species or invertebrates associated with habitats of principal importance (NERC Act 2006); assessment of biological water quality of ponds, lakes, streams and rivers, using freshwater invertebrates as indicators of ecosystem health; or more bespoke surveys of protected or otherwise notable invertebrate species (e.g. white-clawed crayfish, or rare dragonfly or butterfly species).
There has been a considerable rise in the number of single turbine proposals over the past few years.  This has come about primarily as a result of the introduction of Government feed-in tariffs, which have provided incentives to develop single turbine schemes.  Despite the incentives, these small schemes generally have a limited budget if they are to be viable development propositions and sources of renewable energy.
BSG Ecology has been working on proposals for the Great Haddon urban expansion on the southern edge of Peterborough for over seven years. We were delighted to learn that in March this year Peterborough City Council granted outline planning permission for this significant development.
Following recent ecosystem services review work undertaken by BSG Ecology, Steven Betts, a partner in our Newcastle office, recently attended the IEEM spring conference where the topic was under discussion. Although this technical discipline is not currently in the mainstream, it is evident that things are likely to change.  In this short viewpoint article Steven considers what ecosystem services involve, and the potential for its application in the future.