Acorn Ecology in 2018
We are really looking forward to 2018. This year we will be marking off some big achievements, so keep an eye out for special events and offers.
The Exeter head office branch will be celebrating their 15 year anniversary in May. We look forward to sharing our celebration with you.
Our branches in Bristol and Guildford are in their 5th successful season. These branches are doing fantastically, with expertise in a diversity of ecological fields. We look forward to welcoming back our seasonal staff at these branches this year.
Brexit and the 25 Year Plan
As we go into this year there is still much uncertainty about how Brexit will affect the ecology and development sectors. In January 2018 the Government published its plan for nature: “A Green Future: Our 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment”. One of the main points of this document is to set out the ways in which the Government can fulfil its intention of leaving the environment in a better state than when it was found.
In Chapter 1 the document lays out the plans for using and managing land sustainably. This includes a principal of “net environmental gain” for developments, which would be tailored to local environment and development issues. Providing enhancement for wildlife in development sites is already standard practice where possible under the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). The new plan seeks to strengthen this, with the possibility of making it mandatory for all developments in the future.
On the same page the licensing process for European Protected Species is mentioned. Last year a new approach to great crested newt mitigation was rolled out from its trial phase. This approach focuses more on local populations, rather than individual animals. The 25 Year Plan mentions the Government’s hope to build on this and “further streamline protected species licensing”.
Given that the standard 30 working days quoted for Natural England to process licences is currently running behind at 50+ working days, this could be welcome. However, by implementing a streamlined approach, we should not lose sight of the importance of these species in the environment and the associated surveys required to assess their presence on site. Any new systems should be sufficiently funded, with monitoring and checks put in place.
Brexit will not mean the loss of protection for our European Protected Species. These species are already protected under UK law, and it is likely that these UK protections will be increased to match the current European level at the minimum.
Ecology surveys will still be required for development sites, and it is likely that the on-the-ground process for this will change very little. Commissioning your ecological surveys from a long-running, experienced and professional ecology company will be even more important in the next few years.
All Senior and Principal Ecologists at Acorn Ecology are full members of CIEEM, keeping up to date with all the latest legislation and policies. The 25 Year Plan outlines ways in which the environment, including the animals and plants within it, can be protected, whilst working WITH developers.
Acorn Ecology Aims:
- Deliver excellent customer service to our clients, as evidenced by the high level of repeat business.
- Provide a comprehensive survey and advice consultancy for everything involving wildlife for developers and strategic infrastructure projects.
- Encourage future ecologists by providing training courses and opportunities.
- Maintain a professional and respected reputation, with all our ecologists constantly building on their knowledge and training, so we can provide you with the best service possible.
We strive to improve and be better than all our competition. We aim to be easy to work with whilst being totally professional. Our reputation is excellent, we aim be fair in all our dealings, keep our word, work hard for you, aim to make a difference and have a ‘can do’ attitude.
What Acorn Ecology can do for you in 2018
Please contact us for a quote for your site. If you would like to discuss ecological requirements for your project please contact us, and our friendly experienced staff will be able to help.
Ecological Training. Our courses for aspiring ecologists are well-known, but did you know that we also provide bespoke courses for developers and architects? The Protected Species Awareness Course is our most popular, and is often requested by architects and developers. This course covers the topic from a developer’s view, giving you a greater understanding of the ecological survey process.
Download our survey calendar and get prepared for the 2018 ecology season!
Call us today to discuss your project.