Category Archives: Residential

Water vole survey, Lymm, Cheshire (2016)

It’s rare for me to work for private individuals and even rarer for me to do a water vole survey.  But this was quite a nice one to do – just a small job surveying a brook which formed part of the edge of a private landholding.  The landowners had noted that the bank of the brook seemed to be eroding and had commissioned advice on erosion control measures they could implement to prevent their garden falling away into the brook.  In places the brook bank was quite close to the house, too, so I understood how keen they were to get this sorted!

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A slag heap in Lancashire (2016)

Appetising, no ?!  Don’t I get to go to some nice places in this job……

Actually, slag heaps are pretty interesting places if you’re a botanist, often with interesting chemistry quite different from their surroundings – maybe alkaline in an acid area, or with metal contamination, and they always seem to have some ecological oddity.

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Botanical survey near Middlesborough (2016)

I don’t usually travel this far for work, but a friend asked me for help and I was available, so I said yes.  I can’t tell you much about this project because I don’t actually know what it’s going to be when it’s finished, but I can tell you about what I did.

I was asked to provide plant species lists for the ponds, wooded shelterbelts and fields on a large site near Middlesborough.  This was my first trip to County Durham in a long time and I wasn’t sure what to expect botanically, so I was pleasantly surprised to find that the woods were elm woods and at least one of the ponds was quite interesting. Continue reading

May was all about newts!

Newts are really spiffing little animals, but surveying for them can sometimes be an adventure involving rather too much barbed wire, limbo-ing under fences, climbing over trees and through nettles!  This year’s crop of ponds have been mostly quite civilised, though, including one set with a convenient pub nearby 🙂

I’m licensed to survey for great crested newts in both England and Wales and this year I’ve surveyed at three sites in Lancashire, Greater Manchester and North Wales.  I’ve been lucky enough to see all five widespread British amphibian species at these sites (common toad, common frog, smooth newt, palmate newt and great crested newt).  As I’ve also participated in natterjack toad surveys, that means I would only need to tick pool frog to have seen the entire amphibian fauna of the UK.  I have no plans to visit Norfolk in the next few months though – too busy! Continue reading

Ecological survey of two sites at Colne, Lancashire (2016)

I was commissioned to provide ecological survey of two small sites in Colne which were earmarked for residential development.  Extended Phase 1 habitat survey – bread-and-butter work for any ecological consultant.  I’ve been doing this type of survey work since I first started out in 1998 and I really enjoy the process of getting to know a site and local area. Continue reading

Great crested newt mitigation scheme, Chester (2015)

Once again I find myself picking newts out of buckets – this time for a consultancy based in the East Midlands who not surprisingly weren’t keen for their staff to waste hours in the car every morning when they could just ask me to pop over to the site and deal with it instead 🙂 Continue reading

Dusk bat survey, Preston (2015)

Another exciting instalment in my series of bat surveys with absolutely no bats!!!  Well, a few pipistrelles knocking around, but certainly nothing coming out of the target building.  Plenty of interested onlookers, though, and a good opportunity for some public education about bats 🙂  And it was nice to catch up with some of my fellow surveyors assembled by the team leader, as we hadn’t seen each other for ages….