The provision of good consultancy advice should be evidence-led. We have a keen interest in several research areas that are relevant to our work, and undertake projects independently and in partnership with academic institutions and NGOs. This page showcases recent studies.
We have provided ecological support to the restoration of Blenheim Palace World Heritage Site for a number of years. This has included advice on the restoration of Blenheim Lake, on renovation work to the Palace and its gatehouses, and with regard to the restoration of the iconic Grand Bridge. Due to our interest in understanding more about bat use of the estate, along with the interest shown by the estate and local people in the bat community, we commenced a research project on the estate in 2018.
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. Birds, bats, invertebrates and other ecological features have been considered, the applicability of the findings to the UK situation assessed, and areas in which further studies are needed to address data gaps identified.
The research project involved developing the use of acoustic deterrents as part of a bat mitigation strategy for the proposed new HS2 rail line. Research was initiated to investigate whether it was feasible to use high frequency noise to deter woodland bats, and in particular Bechstein’s bat, from sensitive areas of the rail corridor, with the aim of keeping bats away from potential collision with trains. The project was a collaborative effort with technical specialists from The Ecology Consultancy, Temple Group, The University of Bristol and HS2 Ltd.
BSG Ecology has been advising master developer O&H Hampton Ltd on ecological issues over the last 10 years at Peterborough, undertaking survey, assessment and mitigation in the delivery of sustainable development projects across large areas of south Peterborough.
In spring 2007 O&H Hampton supported by BSG Ecology set aside a 2 ha demonstration site for the creation of brownfield / open mosaic habitat for invertebrates, the approach to habitat creation and the design of the demonstration site was led by Dr Peter Shepherd. In 2014, BSG Ecology keen to understand how the demonstration site had developed, commissioned Buglife to undertake an invertebrate survey.
BSG Ecology began research on the evidence for bat migration between the UK and continental Europe in 2012.
The research was stimulated by professional interest, which had developed as a result of bat survey work on some large sites on the east coast of the UK in the late 2000s. The data from these east coast studies appeared to show seasonal changes in bat communities potentially indicative of migration, and we therefore decided to investigate this further through research.
During 2014 BSG Ecology provided training to two Master of Science students at Swansea University in order to help them develop their ornithological field skills. This enabled them to complete research projects on a species of particular local interest, Dartford warbler.
The partnership was facilitated by the Access to Masters initiative, which is backed by the European Social Fund. In this short article, Hannah Meinertzhagen summarises the findings of her study, and the benefit she got from partnering with industry professionals.
In 2009 and 2010 Dr Peter Shepherd presented a joint workshop with Judy Stroud of Natural England to the National Bat Conference on factors affecting roost replacement. The workshop presented a review of 300 Natural England EPS licence returns, a review of published studies on roost requirements of UK bat species and guidance that existed at the time. It went on to consider what are the key factors to take account of when designing a replacement roost structure?. Location, structure and temperature regime appear to be issues, with temperature often an overlooked element of roost design and monitoring.