The technology and techniques for recording bird songs and calls in the field have developed rapidly in recent years. Most of this development, though, has been for academic research, with little take-up so far by conservation bodies and ecology consultancies. Automated recorders and call recognition software can, however, offer better data and greater coverage than traditional survey techniques. This workshop aims to address this, highlighting the significant benefits for bird survey and monitoring – and starting the communication of important principles and best practice guidance between professionals.

The free workshop will include demonstration of available hardware and software, and presentations of case-studies. It will also seek input from attendees on how bioacoustics could be used in their work and what type of guidance they would like to see provided by recommended survey methods.

Date:  13th July 2017

Location:  Nottingham Trent University

Full programme details to follow

Interested in attending? Please email c.abrahams@bakerconsultants.co.uk

Andrew Baker, our Managing Director, is soon to publish a review of the recent court cases that have addressed air quality and how nitrogen deposition should be treated by the Habitats Regulations Assessment process. His paper will soon be published in the Habitats Regulations Journal http://www.dtapublications.co.uk/journal.

 

The cases all involve Wealden District Council and concern the effects of traffic pollution upon Ashdown Forest SPA/SAC. Together the cases will have far reaching implications for air quality assessments and how the impacts upon European sites (SPAs, SACs and Ramsar sites) are addressed. In the most recent case Natural England was heavily criticised for providing flawed advice which led the judge to conclude that an HRA of a local plan had been ‘vitiated by Natural England’s plainly erroneous advice’ that had resulted in a ‘clear breach of Article 6(3)’

 

The cases have called into question the validity of some key guidance on air quality assessments, the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges (DRMB) and AQTAG21 the latter having previous been widely used by Natural England, the Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales.

 

We will publish the full text of the article following publication in the Journal.

 

At the end of January 2016, a revision of the Bat Conservation Trust (BCT) Bat Survey Guidelines was issued. Read more

Andrew Baker, Managing Director of Baker Consultants, provided evidence at the planning appeal

Andrew Baker, Managing Director of Baker Consultants

In the ten days since the EU referendum we have been busy assessing the implications of the vote to leaving the EU, both for ourselves and our clients, their businesses and developments. The majority of the work carried out by Baker Consultants relates to EU derived law and its implementation.

From a legal point of view it is very much business as usual. The law that underpins environmental protection in the UK remains in force and must still be followed. Not to do so would instigate the same legal sanctions as before the referendum. Indeed, even when/if Article 50 is invoked EU law still applies up until the UK actually leaves the EU.

Through my work at the UK Environmental Law Association I have been very closely involved in the development and implementation of nature conservation law. In terms of the UK based work, we will keep on top of any changes to the wildlife legislation and any other changes in the law that affect our work.

For our European contracts we are exploring our options and what will be best for our continued success both in the UK and EU countries. In any event we will continue to give our clients the best service we possibly can.

If you have any questions about how the potential changes to our status with the EU may affect your projects and any ecological elements, do get in touch.

Andrew Baker FCIEEM
Managing Director