Our ecology team have been very busy this spring and summer all over the UK on a fantastic range of projects. We have had award nominations, new starters, worked on major development schemes, and seen continued growth in our green infrastructure and urban ecology services.
This summer Greengage have been all over the UK surveying. Among others we have seen rare horseshoe bats in Torbay, sand lizards in Chichester, badgers in London, GCN in Kent, dormice in the midlands and red squirrels on the Isle of Wight.
We have seen huge progress on a number of major long term schemes, including the beginnings of construction on a house boat development in the tidal Thames and near completion of a major golf course in Surrey.
We have begun monitoring a number of the living roofs that we have specified across London and look forward to seeing how these habitats mature over the next few years.
We were also pleased to sit on the landscape and ecology panel and contribute to Crest Nicholson Eastern’s biodiversity framework pilot project in Cambridge.
CIEEM Awards 2015
In other news Morgan Taylor our Senior Ecologist was a Highly Commended Finalist for the Promising Professional award at this year’s CIEEM Awards 2015 held in Birmingham’s Botanical Gardens. Morgan has been with the team since Greengage’s beginnings and are pleased that his professionalism and commitment to the industry have been rewarded.
New starter for the ecology team!
We were delighted to welcome Naomi Foot our new Graduate Ecologist to the team this April. Naomi is a recent graduate in Applied Ecology and has flourished in the role, playing an important part on a number of complex projects including large scale reptile relocation schemes and challenging bat surveys.
Green Infrastructure and urban ecology
We have applied our expertise in urban ecology across a variety of project so far this year helping to create novel green infrastructure assets, enhancing the crucial network of multifunctional green space in our cities.
We were pleased to have contributed to the UK Green Building Council’s guidance on Green Infrastructure, as well as continue our well received CPD course on Urban Ecology in London.
Morgan Taylor and Mitch Cooke were also honoured to be asked to speak at the prestigious Architecture Association as guest lecturers on urban ecology for one of their post graduate courses. More information
Changes to legislation and best practice have been relatively slow this year, mostly as a consequence of the election in May. We have however seen a draft of a new British Standard for surveying bats in trees and expect to see new guidelines on best practice for bat surveying from the Bat Conservation Trust later this year. More information
Worryingly the European Commission plan to undertake a fitness check of the Habitats and Birds Directives; two important directives that form the cornerstone of our wildlife legislation in the UK. Greengage hopes that the purpose of these directives is not lost and that suitable protection of our ecology, and the valuable ecosystem service that it provides, is maintained, for everyone’s benefit.
There was a notable lack of the environment, and ecology in particular, on the political agenda during this year’s election. This was a shame for a number of reasons; after all without suitable protection of the environment and actions to address climate change, immigration would be the least of everyone’s worries.
With regards to the implications of the Conservative win on ecology in the UK we hope that they maintain their commitment to the Biodiversity 2020 strategy and the Natural Capital Committee, and keep up the designation of important Marine Protected Areas around our coast.
We also hope that austerity and a drive to reduce ‘red tape’ does not hit nature conservation; the value that nature provides the UK is measured in the trillions and we should not lose sight of this.