With the summer finally showing its face, here's a rundown of what we've been up to lately:
Phase 1 ecology surveys are one of our mainstays, and we've conducted them recently for a range of projects in Dorset, Essex, Hampshire, Warwickshire, West Sussex, Wiltshire, Worcestershire. Also known as Preliminary Ecological Appraisal or Extended Phase 1 Habitat and Ecology Survey, this involves desktop research, a field walkover survey, and a detailed report with recommendations for phase 2 surveys and/or mitigation.
Bat surveys keep us busy throughout the spring and summer, whether Preliminary Roost Assessments, emergence/re-entry surveys, static recording, transect activity surveys, or monitoring. Currently we're conducting tree and river corridor bat surveys for a major infrastructure scheme in Dorset, with a highlight being 30-40 Daubenton's bats flying beneath a bridge. We've also surveyed bats at farms, houses, a golf club and a hotel in Buckinghamshire, Dorset, Hampshire, Surrey, Warwickshire and West Sussex. The list of bat surveys still to do is growing by the day, so book us quickly if you need assistance.
This year has been relatively quiet for reptile work so far, but we've done reptile surveys for two road projects, an adder survey for a Higher Level Stewardship site, post-development monitoring for a quarry, and adder handling training for another consultancy. We have a reptile translocation to do in Berkshire this summer/autumn, and no doubt other jobs will crop up soon.
Great crested newt (GCN) work this year has included Habitat Suitability Index and environmental DNA surveys of residential developments in Berkshire and Hampshire, and a quarry site in Dorset. We also provided an Ecological Clerk of Works watching brief for a power station site in Kent, and GCN survey training (including bottle-trapping) for another consultancy.
Invertebrate work so far this year saw the completion of our Rum invertebrate surveys for Scottish Natural Heritage, and extensive snail monitoring at a site in the Republic of Ireland.
We've also conducted nesting bird surveys, barn owl surveys, badger surveys, and a wide range of ecological consultancy services. We like to keep our survey skills honed, so if you need a survey of something not mentioned here, we'll be keen to assist you at a competitive price.
Our habitat team has been involved with heathland restoration, woodland management, Himlayan balsam treatment, and various BS5837:2012 surveys and tree inspections.
On the archaeology front, we've been involved in specialist post-excavation work for a cave site in Devon, and taught our annual Year 2 zooarchaeology classes at Bournemouth University.
Our volunteering has included the Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey, NARRS (reptiles), and fairy shrimp surveys in the New Forest. Recently one of us attended riverfly survey training with Dorset Wildlife Trust, involving lucky encounters with lamprey, salmon and white-clawed crayfish; and we will now be carrying out monthly riverfly surveys.