Blog

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Dr Chris Gleed-Owen, Director of CGO Ecology, has been Research Committee Chair of The British Herpetological Society (BHS) for almost 20 years. In 2004, Chris set up the Student Grant Scheme to help early-career herpetologists, and he has been managing the scheme ever since.

Chris explains: “Twice a year, students from around the world can apply for project funding. We prioritise projects in developing countries, and particularly ones working with endangered species. We’ve funded projects in Nepal, India, Thailand, Uganda, South Africa, Madagascar, as well as the UK, Portugal, Malta, and other European countries Unfortunately, we are only able to help about five students a year, so have to turn away a lot of worthy applicants.”

He adds: “There was a particularly good intake of applications in 2021, so my company, CGO Ecology Ltd, sponsored the scheme in order to make up the shortfall in funding, and help more students.”

The December 2021 recipients, each of whom received £300, were:

  • Aabha Pokharel who is studying frog assemblages in Madi Valley, Nepal.
  • Ellie Dobbs who is studying the conservation status of Maltese snakes.
  • Pawan Pareek who is studying nesting habitat of the red-crowned roofed turtle in the Chambal Sanctuary, India.
  • Srijana Timilsina who is studying gharial habitats and human conflict in Chitwan National Park, Nepal.

Pawan Pareek said of the funding: “I am truly grateful to the British Herpetological Society for this support. The grant helped me fund my PhD research work to document information about nest site selection of critically-endangered red-crowned roofed turtles (Batagur kachuga).”

In order for the scheme to help more students, The British Herpetological Society is looking for new corporate sponsors. If you can offer any help with funding, or have any useful suggestions, please contact Research Committee Chair This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

[Words by Rebecca Perl. Photos supplied by the students].


CGO Ecology recently became a corporate sponsor of the Great Bustard Group, a conservation charity working to reintroduce great bustards to the UK. The great bustard – the world’s heaviest flying bird – was one of Britain’s favourite birds but was hunted to extinction in the 19th century. The charity was founded in 1998 to establish a self-sustaining population in the wild, and they achieved this aim in 2019. They now have a population of around 100 birds which they are working hard to safeguard and grow.

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Director of CGO Ecology, Chris Gleed-Owen, says of the sponsorship: “The work this charity is doing to look after these iconic birds is brilliant, and hopefully our sponsorship will go some way to grow and develop their ethical captive breeding programme. I like to support small projects where possible as our money goes a long way, plus they are located near Salisbury so just a stone’s throw from CGO Ecology’s HQ.” CGO is in good company – the charity has some notable corporate sponsors and is also supported by HRH The Prince of Wales, their Patron. 

In January, Chris took his son Archie, 6, to visit the site. They were treated to a personalised tour, and saw around 15 bustards in the field. Archie particularly enjoyed meeting Fergus, an injured great bustard who lives with David and Karen Waters, founders of the Great Bustard Group. Archie came home buzzing with lots of bustard facts and a handful of huge feathers. 

Great Bustard Group logoDavid Waters says: "The Great Bustard Group (GBG) raises all the project costs itself and sponsorship from businesses and organisations like CGO Ecology contributes a significant sum to the total. The habitat created and managed by the GBG benefits many other species in addition to the great bustards – grey partridge, stone curlew, corn bunting and quail all bred on our reserve."

To find out more about the Great Bustard Group or to offer corporate sponsorship, visit greatbustard.org.

Photo credits: 1,3,5,6 - GBG, 2,4 - CGO.

 


Senior Ecologist (ideally level 2 bat-licensed)CGO logo large


CGO Ecology Ltd - www.cgoecology.comwww.cgoecology.com

Starting: ASAP in autumn/winter 2021

Closing date: Friday 22nd October 2021

Permanent, full-time (part-time considered for the right candidate)

Salary: £28,000 to £40,000 (pro rata for p/t)

Apply to: Chris Gleed-Owen This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Overview

CGO Ecology is a small, friendly consultancy that enjoys a good reputation for delivering a reliable, high-quality service. We are recruiting a Senior Ecologist to be home-based in Southeast England or the English Midlands. We operate mainly by a network of associates. Our clients are primarily central government departments, but also local government and the private sector, from construction to renewable energy.

Role

The successful applicant will manage survey and mitigation projects across Britain, and conduct species and habitat surveys. They will have extensive protected species survey and mitigation experience, with at least one survey licence (ideally level 2/CL18 bats) and able to apply for mitigation licences.

The postholder will lead surveys, write survey reports with excellent English spelling and grammar, coordinate all aspects of projects, manage staff and subconsultants, and liaise with colleagues, clients and authorities effectively. They will have a pragmatic problem-solving outlook.

Essential experience, skills, and qualities

  • At least one Natural England survey licence.
  • Proficiency in Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey/PEA, phase 2 species surveys, EcIA.
  • Good project-management and people-management skills.
  • Excellent written and spoken English.
  • Highly computer-literate, including MS Office.
  • Good knowledge of wildlife legislation, planning process, and conservation policy.
  • Positive attitude, enthusiastic approach to work, strong work ethic.
  • Ability to work independently and proactively.
  • Due to the nature of the work, the postholder must be physically able.
  • Prepared to work flexible and sometimes unsociable hours.
  • Full driving licence and own vehicle.

Desirable experience, skills, and qualities

  • Level 2/CL18 bat survey licence.
  • Proficiency in several of the following: badger, barn owl, botany/NVC, breeding birds, hazel dormouse, GCN, Invasive Non-Native Species, UKHab, otter, reptiles, specialist invertebrate groups, water vole, wintering birds, white-clawed crayfish.
  • Survey licences in Scotland and/or Wales.
  • Full or Associate member of CIEEM, or eligibility for membership.
  • Proficiency in UKHab
  • Proficiency in Biodiversity Metric 3.0.
  • Proficiency in BREEAM.

Salary/benefits

Salary £28,000 to £40,000 per annum (pro rata for part-time), depending on credentials and location. Normal working week 40 hours, with 32 days’ leave per year (24 days discretionary, 8 days statutory holidays). Flexi-time/TOIL arrangement, self-managed by employee. We reimburse home-office costs, costs associated with fieldwork, including mileage at 45p. We provide necessary PPE and survey equipment, regular CPD/training, a healthy employee-employer relationship, and enrolment in the UK Government’s NEST pension scheme. We operate an Equal Opportunities policy.

Application

Please email Chris Gleed-Owen (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), attaching a CV highlighting relevant skills, experience, and licences. Feel free to ask any questions about the role and our clients at the point of application. Interview will be by informal online meeting or in person where practicable. The post will be advertised until filled, to start as soon as possible in autumn/winter 2021.


CGO Ecology Ltd - www.cgoecology.comwww.cgoecology.comCGO logo large

Starting: ASAP/spring 2021

Closing date: advertised until filled

Permanent, full-time or part-time

Salary: £30,000 to £40,000 (pro rata for p/t)

 

Apply to: Chris Gleed-Owen This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Overview

CGO Ecology is a small, friendly consultancy that enjoys a good reputation for delivering a high-quality service, on time and in budget. We are recruiting a Senior Ecologist (level 2/CL18 bat-licensed), to be home-based in England. The successful applicant will lead on licensed bat mitigation, manage projects across Britain, and lead surveys. They will have extensive bat survey and mitigation experience (named ecologist within the last three years). CGO Ecology has a small team of home-based staff, and a nationwide network of associates. Our clients range from central and local government, to infrastructure, minerals, education, construction, and renewable energy. We are not involved with HS2.

Role

The postholder will write bat survey reports, analyse data, coordinate bat and other ecological surveys and mitigation, manage staff and subconsultants, and liaise with clients and authorities. They will manage and conduct bat surveys (PRAs of buildings, structures and trees, emergence/re-entry surveys, activity transects, static detectors) and bat mitigation (licence applications, supervision, provisions, monitoring). They will also conduct Preliminary Ecological Appraisals, and assist with other types of ecological survey, according to their skills and experience. They will be an excellent communicator, with an ability to work effectively with clients, colleagues, and stakeholders. Due to the nature of the work, the postholder must be physically able, and prepared to work flexible and unsociable hours. They will be a self-starter with a pragmatic outlook, who uses their initiative to solve problems. A driving licence and own vehicle is essential for driving to and from survey sites. As bat-handling is part of the job, they must have up-to-date rabies vaccination.

Essential experience, skills, and qualities

  • Level 2 (CL18) Natural England bat survey licence, and named ecology on at least one bat mitigation licence within the last three years.
  • Proficiency in Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey/PEA/EcIA, with good botanical ID skills.
  • Full driving licence, own vehicle.
  • Excellent written and spoken English.
  • Highly computer-literate, including MS Office.
  • Project management skills.
  • Good knowledge of wildlife legislation and planning process.
  • Positive attitude, enthusiastic approach to work, strong work ethic.
  • Ability to work independently and proactively.

Desirable experience, skills, and qualities

  • At least one other species survey licence and/or specialist skill.
  • Survey and mitigation experience in any of the following taxa and disciplines: badger, barn owl, breeding birds, hazel dormouse, GCN, invasive species, NVC, otter, reptiles, water vole, wintering birds, botany/NVC, white-clawed crayfish, other invertebrates.
  • Full or Associate member of CIEEM, or eligibility for membership.
  • Familiar with UKHab and Defra BNG Metric 2.0.
  • Proficiency in GIS, ideally including QGIS.

Salary/benefits

Salary £30,000 to £40,000 per annum (pro rata for part-time), depending on credentials and location. Working week 40 hours, with 32 days’ leave per year including statutory holidays, and flexi-time/TOIL (overtime banked and taken off as additional leave). We reimburse home-office costs, accommodation and subsistence expenses for fieldwork, and pay mileage at 45p for travel. We provide PPE and survey equipment, ongoing CPD/training, and enrolment in the UK Government’s NEST pension scheme at 3% employer contribution. We operate an Equal Opportunities policy.

Application

Please email Chris Gleed-Owen (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), attaching a CV highlighting relevant skills, experience, and licences. Interview will be by informal Zoom meeting. The post will be advertised until filled, to start as soon as possible in spring 2021.


Senior Ecologist (Level 2 bat-licensed)

CGO Ecology Ltd - www.cgoecology.comwww.cgoecology.com

Starting ASAP/March 2021

Advertised until filled

Permanent, full-time

Salary up to £40,000

 

Overview

CGO Ecology is recruiting a Senior Ecologist (level 2/CL18 bat-licensed), to be home-based in the Midlands or Southeast England. The successful applicant will be conducting surveys, and managing projects across Britain. They will have extensive bat survey and mitigation experience (named ecologist within last 3yrs), and ideally at least one other survey licence. CGO Ecology has a small team of home-based staff, with a wide network of subcontractors and associates across the country. Our wide range of clients are in national and local government, infrastructure, minerals, education, construction, and renewable energy. We are not involved with HS2.

Role

The postholder will coordinate ecological surveys and mitigation, manage staff and subcontractors, liaise with clients and authorities, and write high-quality reports. They will conduct bat surveys (PRAs of buildings and trees, dusk/dawn surveys, activity transects, static detector call analyses) and mitigation (licence applications, implementation, supervision, monitoring). They will also conduct Preliminary Ecological Appraisals, and may assist with performing or coordination of GCN, reptile, badger, water vole, otter, dormouse, breeding bird, wintering bird, invertebrate, botanical, and other types of surveys, in line with their skills and experience. They will be proficient in Extended Phase 1 Habitat Surveys/PEAs, with a high standard of English grammar and spelling, and the ability to work effectively with clients, colleagues, and stakeholders. Due to the nature of the work, the postholder must be physically able, and prepared to work flexible and unsociable hours. They will be a self-starter with a pragmatic outlook, who uses their initiative to solve problems. A driving licence and own vehicle is essential for driving to and from survey sites.

Essential experience, skills, and qualities

  • Bat survey licence (CL18/level 2), named ecology on at least one bat mitigation licence within the last three years.
  • Proficiency in Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey/PEA/EcIA, with adequate botanical ID skills.
  • Full driving licence, own vehicle.
  • Excellent written and spoken English.
  • Highly computer-literate, including MS Office.
  • Project management skills.
  • Good knowledge of wildlife legislation and planning processes.
  • Positive attitude, enthusiastic approach to work, strong work ethic.
  • Ability to work independently and proactively.
  • Good internet connection for video meetings and large file download.

Desirable experience, skills, and qualities

  • At least one other species survey licence and/or specialist skill.
  • Survey and mitigation experience in two or more of the following taxa and disciplines: badger, barn owl, breeding birds, hazel dormouse, GCN, invasive species, invertebrates, NVC, otter, reptiles, water vole, wintering birds.
  • Full or Associate member of CIEEM, or eligibility for membership.
  • Familiar with UKHab and Defra BNG Metric 2.0.
  • Proficiency in QGIS or another GIS platform.

Salary/benefits

Salary up to £40,000 per annum, depending on experience and location. Working week 40 hours, with 32 days’ leave per year including statutory holidays, and flexi-time/TOIL (overtime banked and taken off as additional leave). We reimburse home-office costs, accommodation and subsistence expenses for fieldwork, and pay mileage at 45p for travel. We provide PPE and survey equipment, ongoing CPD/training, and enrolment in the UK Government’s NEST pension scheme at 3% employer contribution. We operate an Equal Opportunities policy.

Application

Please email Chris Gleed-Owen (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), stating the post you are applying for, attaching a CV highlighting relevant skills, experience, and licences. Interview will be by informal Zoom meeting. The post will be advertised until filled, to start as soon as possible in March 2021.


Ecologist or Senior Ecologist (Bat-licensed)

CGO Ecology Ltd - www.cgoecology.comwww.cgoecology.com

Starting ASAP February/March 2021

Permanent, full-time

Salary £25,000 to £35,000

 

Overview

CGO Ecology is recruiting an Ecologist or Senior Ecologist (level 2/CL18 bat-licensed), to be home-based, potentially anywhere in the country. The successful applicant will be managing projects across Britain, and conducting fieldwork for our diverse client base. They will have extensive survey and mitigation experience, and ideally at least one other survey licence. CGO Ecology has a small team of home-based staff, with a wide network of subcontractors and associates across the country. Our clients are mainly in national and local government, education, infrastructure, minerals, construction, and renewable energy.

Role

The postholder will coordinate ecological surveys and mitigation, manage staff and subcontractors, liaise with clients and authorities, and write high-quality reports. They will conduct bat surveys (PRAs of buildings and trees, dusk/dawn surveys, activity transects, static detector call analyses) and mitigation (licence applications, implementation, supervision, monitoring). They will also assist with delivery of GCN, reptile, badger, water vole, otter, dormouse, breeding bird, wintering bird, invertebrate, botanical, and other types of surveys, in line with their skills and experience. They will be proficient in Extended Phase 1 Habitat Surveys/PEAs, with a high standard of English grammar and spelling, and the ability to work effectively with clients, colleagues, and stakeholders. Due to the nature of the work, the postholder must be physically able, and prepared to work flexible and unsociable hours. They will be a self-starter with a pragmatic outlook, who uses their initiative to solve problems. A driving licence and own vehicle is essential for driving to and from survey sites.

Essential experience, skills, and qualities

  • Bat survey licence (CL18/level 2), previous bat mitigation licence(s).
  • Proficiency in Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey/PEA/EcIA, with adequate botanical ID skills.
  • Full driving licence, own vehicle.
  • Excellent written and spoken English.
  • Highly computer-literate, including MS Office.
  • Project management skills.
  • Good knowledge of wildlife legislation and planning processes.
  • Positive attitude, enthusiastic approach to work, strong work ethic.
  • Ability to work independently and proactively.
  • Good internet connection for video meetings and large file download.

Desirable experience, skills, and qualities

  • At least one other species survey licence and/or specialist skill.
  • Survey and mitigation experience in two or more of the following taxa and disciplines: badger, barn owl, breeding birds, hazel dormouse, GCN, invasive species, invertebrates, NVC, otter, reptiles, water vole, wintering birds.
  • Full or Associate member of CIEEM, or eligibility for membership.
  • Proficiency in QGIS or another GIS platform.

Salary/benefits

Salary from £25,000 for Ecologist, up to £35,000 for Senior Ecologist, depending on experience. Working week 40 hours, with 32 days’ leave per year including statutory holidays, and flexi-time/TOIL (overtime banked and taken off as additional leave). We reimburse home-office costs, accommodation and subsistence expenses for fieldwork, and pay mileage at 45p for travel. We provide PPE and survey equipment, ongoing CPD/training, and enrolment in the UK Government’s NEST pension scheme at 3% employer contribution. We operate an Equal Opportunities policy.

Application

Please email Chris Gleed-Owen (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), stating which post you are applying for, attaching a CV highlighting relevant skills, experience, and licences. Interview will be by informal Zoom meeting. The position will be advertised until filled, and start as soon as possible in February or March 2021.


Senior Ecologist (Bats – Northwest England)CGO logo large

Starting February/March 2021

Permanent, full-time

Salary £30,000+

 

Overview

CGO Ecology is recruiting a Senior Ecologist in Northwest England, ideally South Lancashire or adjacent areas (Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Merseyside). The position is home-based, with fieldwork in South Lancashire and across the region (not HS2). The successful applicant will have extensive bat survey and mitigation experience. Other areas of expertise would be a bonus. CGO Ecology has a small team of home-based staff, and a wide network of subcontractors and associates across the country. Our clients are in national and local government, education, infrastructure, minerals, and renewable energy sectors, among others.

Role

The postholder will coordinate ecological surveys and mitigation, manage staff and subcontractors, liaise with clients and officials, and write high-quality reports. They will oversee a significant bat survey workload (PRAs of buildings and trees, dusk/dawn surveys, activity transects, and static detector call analyses). They will also assist with delivery of GCN, reptile, badger, riparian mammal, breeding bird, wintering bird, invertebrate, botanical, and other types of surveys, according to their skills/experience. They will be proficient in Extended Phase 1 Habitat Surveys/PEAs, EcIAs, and contribute to ES chapters. A high standard of English grammar and spelling is essential, as is the personality to work effectively with clients, colleagues, and stakeholders. Due to the nature of the work, the postholder must be physically able, and prepared to work flexible and unsociable hours. They will be a self-starter with a pragmatic outlook, who uses their initiative to solve problems. Under the current Covid-19 constraints, the postholder will work from home, driving to and from survey sites. Much of the workload will be in South Lancashire, but the postholder must be prepared to travel further afield when necessary. Note this is not HS2-related.

Essential experience, skills, and qualities

  • Bat survey licence (at least CL18/level 2), previous bat mitigation licence-holder.
  • At least one other species survey licence and/or specialist skill.
  • Proficiency in Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey/PEA/EcIA, with botanical ID skills equivalent to FISC 3 or above.
  • Full driving licence, own vehicle.
  • Excellent written and spoken English.
  • Highly computer-literate, including MS Office and GIS.
  • Project management skills, experience in large/complex projects.
  • Good understanding of wildlife legislation and planning processes.
  • Positive attitude, enthusiastic approach to work, strong work ethic.
  • Ability to work independently and proactively.

Desirable experience, skills, and qualities

  • Good ornithological skills, including Annex I/Schedule 1 species.
  • Expertise, licence(s), and mitigation experience in one or more of the following taxa and disciplines: badger, barn owl, breeding birds, hazel dormouse, GCN, invasive species, invertebrates, NVC surveys, otter, reptiles, water vole, wintering birds.
  • Degree-level education, or equivalent in professional experience and/or training.
  • Full or Associate member of CIEEM, or eligible for membership.
  • Tree-climbing qualifications and experience.
  • Employment history demonstrating breadth of character.

Salary/benefits

Salary £30,000+, commensurate with experience. Working week 40 hours with a flexi-time/TOIL system (extra hours worked can be banked and taken off at postholder’s discretion). We reimburse accommodation and subsistence expenses for fieldwork, and mileage at 45p for all travel away from the normal place of work. We provide necessary PPE and survey equipment, ongoing CPD/training, 24 days’ discretionary leave plus statutory holidays per year, and enrolment in the UK Government’s NEST pension scheme. We operate an Equal Opportunities policy.

Application

Please email Chris Gleed-Owen (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) with a CV focusing on relevant skills, experience, licences, and qualifications. The post will be advertised until filled. The postholder must be available to start in February or March 2021. Please do not apply speculatively if you do not meet the essential requirements.


CGO employee James Mansfield lifts the lid on being a registered bat carercropped BLE found in a warehouse

Every year in the UK, as many as 1,800 injured bats are rescued by trained, vaccinated volunteers who then look after them until they are well enough to be released into the wild. I’m proud to be a registered bat carer myself. It’s a great way to educate the public about these largely misunderstood and undervalued animals that are so important to our ecosystem. Last year I rescued nearly 100 bats, and a large percentage of those were pups, between May and July.

Bat carers play a valuable role in maintaining bat populations, which have suffered a huge decline in numbers because of their diminishing habitats. This can be due to tree removal for development purposes and the blockage of underground sites.

Recovering from injuries

Bats become grounded or injured for many reasons. Most commonly, bats are caught by cats. This accounts for 21% of bat fatalities. Others come as pups separated from their mothers. Some are simply exhausted – usually just after hibernation when the weather is temperamental and their food reserves are low. If they are treated correctly, many bats can recover from serious injuries in a matter of weeks. However, in a few cases they have to be cared-for long-term, or put down.

Nursing bats back to health

The type of rehabilitation a bat requires will depend on the species, their age, condition and the types of injuries the bat has. For pups (especially those less than a week old), I give them three-hourly feeds using a dog milk solution with a vitamin D supplement. This gives them the essential nutrients they need to grow, bearing in mind they start flying at just three to four weeks-old!

cropped not Cpips and whiskered far rightAdult bats, so long as their injuries aren’t too severe, are far less time consuming. I feed them mealworms, and make sure their enclosures are cleaned regularly. I provide them with lots of crevices which mimic those they would utilise in the wild, including folded towels, coconuts, and old oven gloves amongst other things. I have a dedicated room in my house to fly my rescue bats to keep them fit and monitor their progress.

Ready for release

Once I deem the bats to be healthy enough, I take them back to exactly where they were found. Like a person who is familiar with where they live and how they get from place to place, a bat is likely to have spent a considerable amount of time – possibly many years –  in a specific area. They will be familiar with certain flight paths and foraging locations. As a result, it is essential to reunite them as closely to their original habitat as possible, to maximise their chances of survival post-release; and if the roost location is known, putting them back in their roost.

___

cropped GLE eating a mealwormJames’s breadth of bat knowledge makes him perfectly suited to his work at CGO Ecology. He undertakes preliminary roost assessments, nocturnal (dusk, dawn, transect) surveys, and mitigation licence applications, among other things. He is Level 2 (CL18) licensed by Natural England. If you’d like to ask James any questions about his role as a registered bat carer and a bat specialist at CGO Ecology, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For more information on being a bat carer, visit the Bat Conservation Trust website.

We are still working during the Covid-19 pandemic, where possible to do so safely, subject to UK Government, CIEEM, IUCN and BCT guidelines.

Article written by James Mansfield, and edited by Rebecca Perl.

cropped Cpip found under a bush. Most recent rescue

cropped Cpip found in office space

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo 1: Brown long-eared bat found injured in a warehouse.

Photo 2: Three common pipistrelles and a whiskered bat (on the right) in care.

Photo 3: Grey long-eared bat enjoying a mealworm in James' care.

Photo 4: Recently-rescued common pipistrelle, found grounded under a bush. Seen here enjoying a mealworm in care.

Photo 5: Common pipistrelle found in an office.

 


On 29th October 2019, we shared the following BBC article on our Facebook page: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-50206382?fbclid=IwAR14pY2exZCZ5ODgKZ6n6lugHJAE1LC0OJMMRsnGa9RUE7i7FrtvaT2dUFM

It was news to us at CGO Ecology that tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) had reached the UK, and that this devastating illness picked up from tick-bites is now a real threat. Any of us who works in heathland, forestry and adjacent habitats where deer are present (and therefore ticks) is now potentially at risk of contracting TBE. This is pretty awful news. We're all mindful of ticks, and especially the Lyme disease risk, and we do our best to prevent bites; but what can we do to prevent TBE?

Well, following the BBC article above, I looked into getting a TBE vaccination. I read that Boots travel clinics offer them (as do Superdrug travel clinics), and so in December 2019 I went to Boots at Castlepoint, Bournemouth, which has a travel clinic (the only branches that offer vaccinations). However, the counter staff had not heard of TBE, and even the pharmacist was unaware that TBE had reached the UK. I had to do some persuading to assure him that TBE had reached the New Forest on the Hampshire/Dorset border (a foreign tourist contracted it there in 2019), and that I needed the TBE inoculation.

Once persuaded, the pharmacist booked me into the travel clinic the same afternoon, and I paid £65 for the first of three shots of deactivated TBE virus. The second jab will be in January 2020, and the third a year later. Total cost will be £195. I'm putting it down as a business expense.

More of a concern is that nobody seems to know yet about the risk of contracting TBE in the UK. We hear lots about Lyme disease, but not TBE. Boots and Superdrug travel clinics offer TBE inoculations for travellers to foreign countries where there is a TBE risk, but you will probably find that the pharmacists are unfamiliar with the TBE risk in the UK (even in my case with a known clinical case a few miles away!). I've read more about invasive Asian hornets reaching Dorset than I have about TBE.

When purchasing the vaccination, the Boots data entry system doesn't list the UK as an option, so my pharmacist selected Japan as the TBE-risk country that I was travelling to! Even the NHS advice webpage on TBE - https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/tick-borne-encephalitis/ - has not been updated since April 2018, and does not mention TBE cases in the UK. Has anyone else heard about TBE in the UK?

Dr Chris Gleed-Owen MCIEEM is Director & Principal Ecologist of CGO Ecology Ltd


CGO Ecology is a practice that offers the full suite of ecological consultancy services. We began in 2008 with a focus on reptiles and amphibians, with specialist knowledge in the EPS reptiles (sand lizard and smooth snake). Initially, we mainly worked for clients requiring reptile and GCN surveys and mitigation in the minerals, LPA and NGO sectors, but we quickly expanded to offer Extended Phase 1 Habitat Surveys. As our skills base has widened, much of our work has now shifted from herpetofauna and Preliminary Ecological Appraisals to Phase 2 species surveys and mitigation involving bats, badgers, non-marine Mollusca, breeding birds, wintering birds, and riparian mammals.

We also have a growing portfolio of BS5837:2012 tree surveys and other arboricultural services. We operate a Habitat Management Team for tree work, scrub clearance, invasive species eradication and control, and other land-based services. We continue to offer BREEAM and HQM assessments and compliance monitoring, and zooarchaeological services. As well as surveys and mitigation, we contribute to the Ecology Chapter of Environmental Statements, we produce management plans, and we prepare Biodiversity Mitigation and Enhancement Plans (BMEPs) as required in Dorset and increasingly in other counties.

Our main geographical base is in Dorset, right on the Dorset/Hampshire border, making us ideally placed for the New Forest, Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch, Southampton and surrounding areas. However, we travel far and wide (by train if we can), and our regional bases have enabled us to expand our operations across Britain. We now have more work in Southeast England than we do in Southwest England, and we have a growing portfolio of clients in the East Midlands, West Midlands, and Wales. We also have an increasing volume of specialist work on Vertigo snails in Ireland each year, and in some years we have had significant bodies of mollusc and reptile work in Scotland.

See the graphs below, which show how our work is currently spread across ecological disciplines and geographical regions. The nature of ecological consultancy is such that the volume of work varies seasonally and between years, as does the type of work and range of clients. About half our work each year is repeat business from existing clients, which allows for an exciting degree of fresh challenges. The size and make-up of our team has evolved over the years, peaking at around 10 full-time staff and 27 full-time subcontractors during our biggest projects. We have always delivered what we promised, and clients know they can come to us for a job well done.

2018 category turnover2019 category turnover

2018 2019 regional turnover