The national furore over the planned badger cull is gaining momentum, and there are serious concerns on all sides that peaceful protest and objection might spill over into violent confrontation. While all this is happening, another cull is quietly going ahead: that of 100 wild boar in the Forest of Dean.

CGO Ecology has been instructed by Scottish environmental consultancy IKM Consulting Ltd (Grangemouth, Stirlingshire) to perform a reptile survey of the Waverley Line (Borders Rail) project in September 2012.

CGO Ecology has just been instructed by IKM Consulting Ltd to perform a reptile survey on the 50km route of the former Waverley Line railway from Edinburgh to Tweedbank. This major project, led by BAM Nuttall Ltd working for Railtrack, will see the long-awaited re-opening of this iconic route. Served by Edinburgh Waverley station, and eventually running to Carlisle, the Waverley Line was closed in the Beeching Axe of the late 1960s.

 As we enter late summer, the 'Asian hornet' Vespa velutina reaches its most active time of year, and this is likely to be the year they reach Britain. As part of the 'GB rapid response protocol', Defra's Non-Native Species Secretariat (NNSS) has issued a species alert for V. velutina, including posters and fact sheets. Already widespread in western France, it is anticipated soon in southern England.

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.

Do reptiles live on floodplains? It is a question I have often asked myself, and usually concluded that the answer is largely 'no.' The obvious exception is the grass snake, a highy mobile species, at home in agricultural and managed landscapes, and a good swimmer.