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Ecology consultancy news – protecting Britain’s precious wildlife

Published on by Dr Paul Beckett

Environmental sustainability is big news. As ecological consultants we find ourselves in increasing demand for crucial conservation-led tasks like strategic environmental assessment and ecology survey work. And our great British wildlife is rarely out of the news. Here are some recent stories about three of the country’s most endangered species.

Horseshoe bats in Devon – 90% fewer than 100 years ago

According to the county’s wildlife trust, Devon’s horseshoe bats are one of the few populations left in northern Europe. While more and more of us are becoming aware of their plight as conservation issues become ever-more newsworthy, the bats are still losing their precious habitats bit by bit.
Bat-friendly man-made structures like old quarry caves and barns are disappearing fast, so it’s good to know that Devon Wildlife Trust have won funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund for their Greater Horseshoe Bat Partnership. The county has eleven horseshow bat roosts, an increasingly precious resource since the species’ numbers have nosedived 90% in the past hundred years. The funding will help the Trust support local farmers maintain vital bat feeding areas and flight corridors.

Dormice given new nest boxes courtesy of Kier Homes

Lucky apprentices with the UK house builder Kier Homes have been enjoying valuable lessons in environmental responsibility through a wonderfully creative house building project. The firm, a corporate partner of The Wildlife Trust, has built 101 tiny homes especially for dormice. It’s part of Trust’s Designs for Dormice project, one of Britain’s first dormouse re-introduction projects.
The dormouse was re-introduced at Brampton Wood, near Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, in 1993, and the project has proved a huge success. The new nest boxes were handed to the Wildlife Trust at the wood, and will be invaluable in supporting the popular creature’s ongoing re-colonisation.

Kielder water vole re-introduction project gets the green light

The Tyne Rivers Trust has partnered with the Forestry Commission and Northumberland Wildlife Trust in accepting a £40,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. They’ll be spending the cash on an exciting water vole project in the magnificent Kielder Forest, working with local volunteers towards re-introducing the once common animal to the area.
The project will include educating and training volunteers to monitor the forest for mink, spreading the word to schools and collecting memories of the vole from local people, many of whom have vivid memories of the endearing creature which was, until recently, a part of our everyday riverside lives.

Ecology surveys in the south east – Helping protect our precious heritage

The work we do helps protect and conserve dwindling numbers of all manner of threatened species. If a threatened creature lives on your property or a property you’re buying or developing, with our help you’ll know exactly what the situation is and what you should do about it. If you need an ecology consultant in Sussex and the south east, we’ll be delighted to provide expert, informed, efficient ecological services for your project, domestic or commercial. Together we make a real difference.

About the author: Dr Paul Beckett

Dr Paul Beckett - picture

Dr Paul Beckett is one of the UK’s leading experts in Japanese knotweed and is a member of the Expert Witness Institute. He regularly provides Japanese knotweed expert witness services. He helped produce the RICS knotweed guidance for surveyors and was integral in the formation of the Property Care Association (PCA) Invasive Weed Control Group (IWCG).

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