Herpetofauna Workers’ Meeting in Southport

Victoria and Luke attended the enjoyable and informative talks and workshops at the Herpetofauna Workers’ Meeting in Southport this weekend.   

The event provided at great opportunity to catch up with colleagues and fellow ecologists.

Topics covered were ‘Pathogen Risks to UK amphibians’, ‘Gems in the Dunes: managing a partnership for key species on the Sefton Coast’, ‘Long-term Natterjack Toad Monitoring on the Sefton Coast’ and ‘Conservation of Grass Snakes in North-east England’.

We gained some good tips on habitat management and we’re now ready to start the amphibian survey season 2020.

Happy New Year

ERAP (Consultant Ecologists) Ltd would like to wish all our clients and colleagues a happy new year.

Following our hard work over the last 12 to 18 months and the granting of planning permissions, we’ve a record number of sites scheduled to start works in the next 12 months.  So we’re busy preparing information to discharge planning conditions and delivering Toolbox Talks. Looking forward to 2020.

Out on Site

Back on a site that is a blast from the past today…Looking forward to this scheme in Blackburn with Darwen starting in 2020.

The brownfield site is bordered by a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). ERAP (Consultant Ecologists) Ltd has advised on the design of the site, remediation and scope of mitigation necessary to achieve an attractive scheme that complements the surrounding natural habitats.

Working with the remediation requirements on these brownfield sites whilst protecting the ecological interest and achieving biodiversity net gain, where possible, is the type of project we love to do!

Great Crested Newt Surveys: Dobcroft Nature Reserve Volunteers Training Day, Preston

At ERAP (Consultant Ecologists) Ltd we like to do our bit with local conservation groups.

On Monday our licensed surveyors Victoria Burrows and Marie Pickering led a great crested newt training event with volunteers at Dobcroft Nature Reserve in Ingol, Preston.

We had an enjoyable time and managed to show the volunteers both adult gcn and larvae. The reserve is teaming with wildlife and is a little haven for biodiversity and the community.

We have assisted the INTACT charity with achieving funding and the update of a management plan and we will be involved as the reserve progresses.

ERAP Welcomes a New Graduate Ecologist to the Team

On the 1st July 2019 we welcomed a new recruit to our team of ecologists. Catie Haworth joins us with a B.Sc. from St. Andrew’s University and an M.Sc. in Conservation and Resource Management from Liverpool University. Catie has already assisted our ecologists with Phase 1 Habitat Survey, a water vole survey and a dawn re-entry bat survey. Welcome to the team Catie!

New Recruit to our Ecologist Team

From the 7th January 2019 ERAP (Consultant Ecologists) Ltd welcomes another member to our team of ecologists.  Luke Atherton is joining us with a B.Sc. (Hons) in Wildlife and Practical Conservation and an M.Sc. in Conservation Management.  Luke has experience of Phase 1 Habitat Surveys, protected species surveys and has a keen interest in bat and bird ecology.  Luke will be an asset to our team as we look forward to another interesting and busy year.

Christmas Ramble and Bird Watch

At our Christmas ramble and bird watch this year the ERAP (Consultant Ecologists) Ltd team was rewarded with a sighting of TWO bitterns at Marton Mere Nature Reserve, near Blackpool.  A first for some of us and a rare and welcome sight for even the experienced birders on our team.  We celebrated with a fab meal at The Eagle and Child, Weeton.  Merry Christmas!

Great Crested Newt Monitoring Success

We love it when a plan comes together.  After excavation of a new pond to enhance a site for amphibians and dragonflies, our on-going licensed monitoring surveys have detected both great crested newts and smooth newts.

The survey involves setting bottles around the pond margins in the evening and returning the following morning to check and empty the traps.  Torchlight surveys can also be carried out after dark to view newts carrying out their courtship display and egg laying activities.

Following a careful search an egg (and many water mint plants with characteristic folded leaves) were found too.

The survey information will contribute to the evidence to be provided to Lancashire Environment Record Network to support the designation of the site as a Biological Heritage Site (a local non-statutory designation).

Training and Professional Development

As part of our commitment to keeping up to date with new wildlife legislation, protocol, guidance, initiatives and best practice the ERAP (Consultant Ecologists) Ltd team of ecologists regularly attend webinars, short courses and conferences.   Our ecologists have recently attended courses entitled ‘Advance Course in Ecological Impact Assessment (EcIA)’ and ‘Otter Ecology and Surveys’.

We’re due to attend a course on ‘Calculating and Using Biodiversity Units’ and also the annual CIEEM conference which is entitled ‘Nature of Buildings: Designing Effective Mitigation and Enhancement’ in Spring 2018.

As well as being enjoyable and a good opportunity to catch up with peers and contacts, these courses contribute to ensuring our team is fully up to speed with developments in our profession and also adds to our continuing professional development (CPD) record and targets.

Welcome to our new Graduate Ecologist

In February 2018 we welcomed Chris Wilkinson to our ecologist team.

Chris successfully tackled our informal, but comprehensive, interview process and was appointed as Graduate Ecologist.

We welcome Chris to our team and look forward to involving him with our on-going and new projects.

Keen to get involved and expand on his current knowledge, in his first month, under the supervision of licensed Ecologists, Chris encountered a hibernating pipistrelle bat during a daylight bat survey,  got to grips with surveys in accordance with The Hedgerows Regulations 1997, recorded badger sett activity in Cheshire and assisted with the translocation of adult great crested newts during the installation of newt exclusion fencing under a licensed mitigation scheme – phew!

Find out more about Chris and the rest of our team on our ‘Ecologist Team’ page.