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.