Summer usually presents an unpredictable time for CGO Ecology’s business diary. The bulk of season-specific work we do is in the spring, and the nature and volume of work during the rest of the year is more variable.

However, we seem to be weathering the economic downturn well enough, with some interesting new projects on our books, as well as more tenders in the pipeline.

In Scotland, we are currently working with Caledonian Conservation and IKM Consulting, alongside BAM Nuttall, QTS and Morrisons Civil Engineering, on a railway project in Dumfriesshire. We have been appointed to carry out breeding bird surveys, reptile surveys, and Ecological Clerk of Works functions during slope devegetation and stabilisation works.

These works involve a 1km stretch of railway cutting where landslips have occurred, with other drainage and slope stability issues. Remedial engineering works are currently being undertaken to install French drains, counterforts, gabions, regrading of slopes, and renewed ditch drainage. Our involvement focuses on ecological mitigation, mostly via presence-absence survey, watching brief, and vegetation manipulation to exclude reptiles from affected corridors.

On the Isle of Portland, Dorset, not far from the Olympic sailing venue, CGO Ecology will continue to assist with proposals for a new academy school, following our previous involvement at Phase 1 and Phase 2 survey stages. We continue as ecological advisers, now working with URS who have been appointed to take the project's ecological aspects to the next stage.

For Christchurch Borough Council we are providing reptile survey and habitat management advice for their Steamer Point nature reserve; and also educational/outreach support.

Current tender submissions include invertebrate monitoring projects for Natural England and Scottish Natural Heritage, in partnership with Caledonian Conservation Ltd.