Species Profile: Badgers

A guest blog by Nicole Baxter (EP Ecology Assistant Ecologist) European badgers (Meles meles) are mammals belonging to the family Mustelidae (which also includes otters, pine martens and weasels). Found across the UK and Europe, they are recognisable by their characteristic black and white faces. They are the UK’s biggest terrestrial predator, known to eat hedgehogs and […]

Scotland 2045 – Fourth National Planning Policy Framework “Nature Crisis”: What does it mean for ecologists and developers?

From incorporating biodiversity enhancement to strengthening Nature Networks, the new national planning policy might change how we look at biodiversity in development entirely. On this page:What does the policy say?What does this mean for developers?What does this mean for ecologists? The Scottish Government has recently published their Draft Fourth National Planning Policy Framework. In this, there […]

Ecology Report for Planning Authorities: A Guide

“I have been asked by the local planning authority to provide an ecology survey report, what is that?” Sound familiar? A lot of people who submit planning applications will be met with a request for an “ecology survey report” but this term is often not really explained. Hopefully this blog will help. What is an […]

Ecology Surveys of the Month: February

Continuing from last month’s post, here’s a few of the surveys we can do in February. Another quieter month for ecology surveyors, but that doesn’t mean we’re sitting inside hibernating (even if we may wish we were!) Badger Survey February sees the start of the badger survey season as they start to become more active following the January […]

Great Crested Newt: Friend or Foe?

Update 26th Jan. 2021: This blog post is specifically about great crested newt surveys in Scotland, it does not apply in England where there are several systems in place to bypass the need to undertake GCN surveys for projects. The least common species of newt in Great Britain, great crested newts (GCN; Triturus cristatus) are often […]

Ecology Surveys of the Month: January

It’s well known that ecology is quite seasonally constrained. Certain species are active at times of the year where others are not. What this means is that as ecologists we need to time our surveys as best we can to collect suitable data. Surveying at the wrong time collects poor data and this can cause […]

The Planner and the PEA

Local Planning Authorities (LPA) are duty-bound to assess the impact of all plans and projects on biodiversity, and more specifically on protected and notable species and habitats (such as badgers, invasive species, and native woodlands). Often the simplest starting point in many planning applications is to complete a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA). This survey comprises […]

What is a Bat Survey Anyway?

You might be wondering what a bat survey is, and why you need to do one.Perhaps an existing consultant, planning authority or statutory body has told you that you can’t progress your project until you provide a bat survey report and you’re now questioning what on Earth all that means.Well, hopefully this blog will help! […]