News & Views

BSG have been catching and ringing birds at the Oxford office since February 2010.  This work has been undertaken with permission from Worton Farms, and is carried out by appropriately licensed and experienced bird ringers (led by Owain Gabb).  All data collected is supplied to the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO).  The information is therefore available to be used in scientific research projects, while the ringing study provides training opportunities for some of BSG’s ecologists and detailed information to the farm on their local bird community.
A recent research paper from Sweden has confirmed that resident and migratory species of bats will fly off-shore to forage where there is a plentiful food supply. Of particular note, bats were recorded investigating an off-shore wind farm and even resting on turbines. Although the research is specific to the Swedish coast it does raise questions about whether similar behaviour is being exhibited elsewhere off the coast line of northern Europe. This research, linked to data relating to migration of Nathusius Pipistrelle bat between the UK and northern continental Europe, raises questions as to whether large off-shore wind farms should assess potential impacts on bats.
Integrating biodiversity into the built environment is an ever more important element of sustainable design. Policy guidance directs planning authorities to expect biodiversity benefit in new developments. Where space is at a premium the fabric of the built environment itself can be used to make cost-effective gains for biodiversity.
Baker Shepherd Gillespie (BSG) has worked with local authorities for fourteen years, developing an extensive portfolio. Over this time our nationwide team of over thirty ecologists has widened and deepened its understanding of local authority needs in an ever-changing administrative, funding and policy environment.
The spring and summer bird and bat survey seasons are approaching fast, and surveys for these species are seasonally constrained. There have recently been changes to the suggested approach to wind farm bird survey in England, with the publication of Natural England (NE) guidance in early 2010.  Potential impacts on bats - very much the emerging issue with regard to terrestrial wind farms - have to date been difficult to assess due to the lack of standard survey guidance and limited information on bat populations.
We have recently appointed Kirsty Kirkham as the new Director for our Derbyshire office, which has also relocated to new offices at Hathersage, in the heart of the Peak District but also on the doorstep of both Sheffield and Manchester.
We are pleased to announce that Baker Shepherd Gillespie (BSG) has relocated its Derbyshire office from Bakewell to Hathersage with immediate effect. This exciting step in our development brings with it a number of benefits, including improved public transport links to, in particular, Sheffield, Manchester and Leeds – the new office is next to the station.
New research by the RSPB has shown that hill farming plays a key role in assisting the fortunes of the hen harrier, one of Britain’s most threatened birds. This new study, published in the Journal of Applied Ecology, illustrates how getting the grazing regimes in upland areas right, can deliver major benefits for this species.
Historic landscapes such as parks and formal gardens have an important function for the conservation of biodiversity in Britain because they provide habitats for a range of protected species such as great crested newt, bats, badger, barn owl and water vole. In some cases the features that gardens and parklands provide, such as ancient trees and ponds, are no longer common features of the British Countryside and consequently historic landscapes have become increasingly important for the protection of British wildlife.
"Ecologists blissfully ignore 80,000 seat stadium and get frothy when the conversation turns to creating back-water habitats and planted coir pallets" - Vilas Anthwal. In 2008 BSG was invited to become part of the LDA-Design/Hargreaves design team appointed to prepare a masterplan for the 2012 London Olympic Park, within which the principal venues for the 2012 Olympic Games will reside. Since then BSG has been working closely with environmental consultant LDA Design and the Olympic Delivery Authority on incorporating the biodiversity requirements for the park into the overall design.

Dr Peter Shepherd was recently invited to make a short presentation to Natural England’s Wildlife Management Advice and Licensing Conference in Gloucestershire. He was asked to give an insight into the role of the ecological consultant in working with European Protected Species. “It was a...