CGO Ecology has just completed a couple of large contracts on behalf of Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (ARC), and Natural England respectively. January to March has become increasingly busy in the last couple of years, with projects involving pre-season surveys, reporting, and policy-based work.
Firstly, with the aid of five subcontractors, we carried out a large project for ARC, as part of their Memorandum of Agreement with Natural England. This centred around improvements being made to the Common Standards Monitoring (CSM) systems for protected sites (SSSIs and SACs) in England.
As part of the CSM contract, we completed surveys of 16 amphibian and reptile SSSIs across England, from Cumbria to Dorset. We carried out condition assessments, drew up new 'definitions of favourable condition' documents for each site, and trialled new CSM monitoring methodologies developed by ARC.
Secondly, we contributed to a national great crested newt (GCN) survey project: Phase 1 of Natural England's GCN Evidence Enhancement Project: http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/ourwork/conservation/biodiversity/englands/gcnsurveyfeature.aspx
With the sterling efforts of 21 subcontracted surveyors, CGO Ecology provided much of the workforce for the survey, which surveyed thousands of ponds in seven pilot areas across England.