Coronavirus working practices update

Following recent developments and government advice, we would like to reassure you that we are taking measures to protect our clients, staff and their families from coronavirus. In addition to government advice, we have updated our working practices to follow the advice from the leading industry body for our profession, the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM). The most up-to-date advice from CIEEM is available here.

We will be reviewing survey appointments on a case-by-case basis, however there are many circumstances under which it will not be possible for us to complete surveys. We can only complete work on site where we are certain that we are able to do so without putting our staff or anyone on site at unnecessary risk.

In the meantime, our staff are still working from home, so are able to provide quotes for any future survey work, with a view to completing these surveys as soon as it is safe to visit site. As we approach what is usually our busiest time of year, we are mindful that this is an ever-changing situation and are keeping a close watch on both government and CIEEM advice and will keep this page updated with our response. We ask that you get in touch as soon as possible to discuss your survey requirements for the season so that we can prepare to undertake survey work when restrictions are lifted.

We hope that all of our clients remain safe and well during this difficult time.

West Sussex Bat Trapping

Over the summer, the Inspired Ecology team travelled down to West Sussex to assist AECOM with bat trapping surveys. Between July and September, surveys were conducted at three different sites, with one at each site during each month.

Harp traps, so called because they look remarkably similar to a harp when set up, were the most successful at catching bats, though mist nets also managed to catch a small number of bats. Once caught, the team identified the species, took wing measurements and weighed the bats, before releasing them again.

Numerous different species were recorded by the team, including common pipistrelle, soprano pipistrelle, brown long-eared bat, Natterer’s bat, whiskered bat and noctule. The most exciting catch of the summer was reserved for Bechstein’s bat however. This species is one of the UK’s rarest bats and is found in just a small number of places in the south of England and Wales, making it a very important and special find for the project and for UK bat conservation!

’tis the season…

…for bat hibernation checks!

The bat activity survey season may be finished for the year, but the team at Scarborough Nixon Associates Ltd will be carrying out hibernation surveys for bats throughout December, January and February.

Sites to be surveyed include Tattershall Carrs, a Woodland Trust site, recently seen on BBC Countryfile! Over the last couple of years, Ian Nixon has led a project to transform some of the Stanton shelters and remaining wartime structures within the woodland to provide winter roosting features for bats. The features include bat boxes and the specially designed Lincolnshire Bat Brick. These features have now been in place for 18 months, and hibernation surveys in winter 2015/2016 showed that the structures were being used by small numbers of bats, including brown long-eared and Natterer’s. This winter, further hibernation surveys will take place to monitor the population of hibernating bats within the woodland, and all data will be submitted to Bat Conservation Trust as part of the National Bat Monitoring Programme.

The photo’s show Ian with the Countryfile team filming in the bunkers.

Water vole update

In January 2016, a class licence (CL31) was introduced to “intentionally damage or destroy water vole burrows and to disturb by displacing water voles occupying burrows before carrying out lawful development works”. Scarborough Nixon Associates Ltd are pleased to announce that they have completed the licensing process with Natural England and are registered to use the class licence to carry out water vole displacement work.

Scarborough Nixon Associates Ltd offer water vole surveys both as part of our general walkover surveys and ecological assessments and also as focused species specific surveys, for a range of clients including private developers, internal drainage boards and The Environment Agency. All our survey work and water vole displacement work is undertaken by experienced ecologists in accordance with the latest industry guidelines, published in The Water Vole Mitigation Handbook (Dean et al. 2016).