News & Views

BSG Ecology is delighted to have been short-listed for two prestigious CIEEM awards; Medium Scale Consultancy of the Year and the Small Scale Mitigation and Enhancement Award. Having won the Medium Scale Consultancy of the Year award in 2018, it is very exciting to be short-listed for a second year.
As the number of solar farms in the UK increases, there is growing interest in the interactions of wildlife with ground-mounted solar photovoltaic panels. Evidence of whether operational solar farms impact on biodiversity remains limited, however, particularly in a UK context. To address this, BSG Ecology has undertaken a literature review of worldwide research on the evidence of the impacts of solar farms on biodiversity.
BSG Ecology has recently completed a badger survey, for the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust (BBOWT) on their Chimney Meadows reserve. Part of the reserve was also covered by a bait marking survey. This has revealed that there are three different badger clans using the area covered, has allowed a better understanding of the size of badger territories and of which setts are used by the different groups. This will inform the detail of BBOWT’s approach to vaccination of badgers (against bovine tuberculosis), as well as giving more insight into how clans use the reserve and interact with each other.
BSG Ecology Director of Health and Safety Richard Wilks has recently completed an internal programme of training aimed at further developing the health and safety culture of the company. Richard’s training included examples from a variety of industries that demonstrated that irrespective of the quality of systems, not all risks can be engineered out of the work environment. To minimise the risk of incidents occurring at BSG Ecology, it is therefore important to build on our systems and the training we provide to foster a staff culture in which individuals see the health and safety of themselves and of others as a core element of their job, an area in which they set themselves high standards, and in which they expect high standards from their colleagues.
On 14 March 2019 BSG Ecology, Womble Bond Dickinson and Scottish Power Renewables collaborated to deliver a seminar to wind farm developers and asset managers on the implications of recent guidance concerning bats and onshore wind farms published by Scottish Natural Heritage, Natural England and Natural Resources Wales. This was the second of two planned seminars on the subject, and took place at the Citizen M Hotel in central Glasgow.
It is likely that delivery of biodiversity net gain will be made mandatory in England, meaning that developments will need to use a metric to measure the extent of net gain required. It is not yet certain, however, how biodiversity net gain will be delivered. Given the need to provide additional land, the use of conservation covenants may become key to the delivery mechanism. Developers need to understand and contribute to developing this mechanism in order to achieve a practical and sustainable outcome.
Steve Betts, BSG Ecology Partner, led a biodiversity offsetting and net gain seminar to a large audience of developers and planning consultants in Newcastle on 27 February 2019. A key aim of the session was to share learning and promote good practice. The session set out a brief history of biodiversity offsetting and net gain in England and provided an overview of planning policy, which currently varies both locally and nationally.
BSG Ecology is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr. Roger Buisson as Director of Ecology in our Cambridge office. Roger has over thirty years of applied professional experience, and has spent significant time working in both consultancy and nature conservation organisations. He has particular expertise in both Habitats Regulations Assessment and Environmental Impact Assessment, and considerable experience of Public Inquiries and Hearings. He has broad sector experience and specialist knowledge of ornithology, habitat creation and management.