The Supreme Court yesterday published the judgement on Morge v Hampshire County Council and in doing so has provided some useful comment and clarification relating to European protected species and the Habitats Directive.

The Supreme Court has published the judgement on Morge (FC) (Appellant) v Hampshire County Council (Respondent).

This judgement has been eagerly anticipated by the ecology industry as the case addressed two key issues relating to the European protected species (in this case bats):

The first issue relates to the meaning of obligation under the Habitats Directive to prohibit “deliberate disturbance”, while the second concerns the scope of the obligation on planning authorities to have regard to the requirements of the Habitats Directive.

The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal (4:1 majority) and in doing so has provided some useful comment and clarification on these contentious issues.

The full judgement is attached or can be found at


We have already started receiving inquiries for training courses on the SM2 and have now opened the list for pre-registration.

The Baker Consultants team wishes everyone a happy and healthy 2011.

And with this new year arrives a new competition at Baker Consultants… nominations are now being received for the 2011 Rest and Relaxation Awards awards.

Anyone involved in the crazy survey season that sees all ecologists red eyed and up at dawn and dusk surveying our protected species knows that a good pub with good grub and a friendly B&B can help ease the pain.

The proprietor has to be willing to hear alarm clocks go off at 3am and provide breakfast/lunch/dinner at 7am after the emergence survey is completed. The pub has to be friendly, serve half decent ale, a satisfying plate of food and not be offended by book reading or snoozing in a corner.

Now, the sites for potential wind farms and new housing or retail developments tend not to be too near to civilisation, so such establishments are few and far between. Thus, the Baker Consultants Rest and Relaxation Awards 2011.

No award was presented last year, but there were some contenders. Nominations are now being received for the 2011 awards which will be decided in September. We’ll get back to you shortly with our highlights of 2010 to whet your appetites.

Nominations please to:

Happy New Year!

A recent appeal decision has emphasized the need for reliable technical equipment during surveys…


Baker Consultants has been pioneering the use of a new SM2 remote sensing bat detector having identified the risks associated with technical reliability.

Now, a recent appeal decision has emphasised these risks after equipment failure lead to gaps in and a lack of reliable data in bat surveys and resulted in serious criticism of the reliability of evidence to the inquiry. The lack of full data contributed to the wind farm being refused planning permission.

See pages 31-32 of the attached Appeal Decision Notice for further details.