What happens to all your survey data? Why are the surveys required? You’ve spent all summer standing outside buildings looking for bats. You’ve counted them, mapped their entrance/exit locations and you have a pretty good idea what is happening in the roost. What happens next?
In the majority of development cases, your survey data will be compiled into a report which the client will submit with their planning application. The report will describe the ecological conditions on site and make recommendations if a species or habitat is going to be impacted by the proposed development. Sometimes impacts can be avoided by implementing strict working practises or preventing habitat removal. If the development is going to have an impact on the species that can’t be avoided (e.g. loft conversion for bats, hedge removal for dormice or badgers), then a mitigation licence from Natural England* will be required. This can only be applied for once planning permission has been given.
Part of the licence application process is to describe, in detail, what mitigation measures you will put in place for the project, so that the impact on the species, and its local population, will be minimal. This, of course, requires a full understanding of what is going on at the site, which you will know from your survey data. Writing these licences takes practice. Most people start by assisting with licence applications before writing their own, producing maps /figures/data analysis.
We run some Advanced Courses for people who have reached this stage in their career. They not only cover the licensing process, but a range of mitigation techniques, which is also really useful information if you are working towards a class licence.
The Acorn Ecology Advanced Courses
Who are they for? The Acorn Ecology Advanced Courses are designed for ecologists with a bit of experience already, who want to take their skills up a notch. They are suitable for those working towards a class licence and need to know more about mitigation, and for those who already hold a class licence and need to know more about the application process. All courses count towards your CPD.
Who are they taught by? The courses are run by experienced ecologists who will be able to talk you through mitigation options and the licensing process. All tutors have been involved in a variety of projects and they can share their experience with you.
What do the courses cover? We offer four different “Development” courses. Each course is designed with a workshop element, to explore different mitigation techniques using case studies. The courses are summarised below:
Unlike the other species that our development courses cover, badgers are not a European Protected Species. However, they are covered by other legislation which means that any disturbance to a badger sett is illegal without the proper licence. The course will cover when a licence is required and what it entails, using case studies for mitigation techniques.
This is a very popular course that follows on from our GCN Ecology and Surveying course. The course covers licensing and legislation, including the survey requirements. Mitigation techniques are discussed and explored through a number of case studies. This course will bring you up to date with all the latest policies and is useful if you are working towards your licence.
* Or other regional licensing body.