Over the last few years our ecologists have been monitoring watercourses as part of project works to identify species present. Although we have found evidence of otter activity, such as feeding remains and sprints, the animals themselves have remained elusive, even avoiding our cameras! That is until now…
Finally, we have an otter on camera – and it has caught some dinner!
At Ellendale we encourage our team to continue their ecological interests outside of work and to follow their passions. One such case is Andrew who has been an active fundraiser and trustee for Wader Quest for the last five years.
Bug hotels are structures which are built of a variety of materials to provide habitat for a wide range of invertebrates and depending on its size also amphibians and small mammals. They can range from the size of a bird box to up to a meter high.
Non-native species may have been introduced by humans either on purpose such as pheasants for shooting or by accident such as exotic cage birds escaping. Some non-native species can upset the ecological balance in an area and threaten native wildlife but not all non-native species are harmful. It is hard to determine which species will become a problem, as the examples below will demonstrate, but when a non-native species does establish itself and thrive to the detriment of the native ecosystem this species is known as an invasive species.
This week (13th – 17th May 2019) is invasive species week and Japanese Knotweed is probably the most famous of the species to invade the UK. The legendary concrete-smashing, tarmac-raising plant is feared by the construction industry and gardeners alike. But is has a weakness… its edible! so we made Japanese Knotweed Jam!
Ancient Woodland is defined as woodland that has existed since 1600AD in England and Wales and 1750AD in Scotland. It is the richest land-based habitat for wildlife and home to more threatened species than any other habitat.
Its invasive nature makes the plant suitable for our Invasive species cookbook! Wild Garlic has an edible bulb, with a strong taste of garlic. The leaves can also be eaten but have a milder garlic taste, and the flowers, which have a stronger flavour, make an interesting addition to salads. At this time of the year the leaves can be easily foraged in most woodlands. Here are a few of our favourites.
Staff from Ellendale Environmental attended the Care in Construction day at Melgarve Substation on behalf of Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN).
We’re delighted to have been commissioned for our 200th Project!
The Eurasian beaver Castor fiber was once widespread across Great Britain but was hunted to extinction. The species has been reintroduced to Scotland, with trial reintroductions happening in England and planned for Wales. From May 2019, the beaver will become a European Protected Species in Scotland, meaning that beavers will need to be considered as part of ecological surveys in areas where they occur, to prevent impacts from development activities.
Venison meat can provide a truly free range alternative to farmed products helping the environment in the process. This Invasive Species recipe is inspired by Chinese New year and is Kung Pao venison, stir-fried with the perfect combination of salty, sweet and spicy flavour!
We’re pleased to welcome Andrew Whitelee to our team!
A new guidance document has been published by the Statutory Nature Conservation Organisations (SNCOs) for England, Wales and Scotland which was prepared with the Bat Conservation Trust (BCT), University of Exeter, Scottish Power Renewables, Ecotricity Ltd and RenewableUK. It is now the industry standard guidance document on survey, assessment and mitigation for bats when considering onshore wind turbines.
Ellendale Environmental recently planted native trees in part of the Torness Power Station grounds in East Lothian. This was part of agreed mitigation to enhance biodiversity at the site after the installation of a replacement underground cable.
Stewart Parsons of Ellendale Environmental is delighted to have accepted an International Green Apple Award for Environmental Best Practice. Stewart accepted the Gold Award in the Building & Construction category with Ally Johnston of Balfour Beatty, on behalf of the Almondbank Project.
Career Insights Talk, Edinburgh Napier University.
Sarah Miller, Graduate Ecologist with Ellendale Environmental recently attended a career insights day at Edinburgh Napier University and gave a presentation to the students on her path to becoming an ecologist within a professional consultancy.
Ellendale Environmental is working with Balfour Beatty on the A9/A85 Junction Improvement and Link Road to Bertha Park project in Perth. Our ecologists are undertaking ecological surveys and providing ECoW services and environmental management during the construction phase of the project.
Appropriate planting will attract wildlife to a Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) and provide benefits for wildlife and people.
We asked Sarah Miller, our graduate ecologist for her advice for students and graduates wanting to start a career in ecological consultancy.
Where badgers are found to be present, Ellendale Environmental are able to provide details of the survey findings and advise our clients on a best practice approach including detailed mitigation and licencing where required.
The Mitigation Hierarchy means that negative impacts on biodiversity from a development proposal should preferentially be avoided, then mitigated, and as a last resort, compensated for. Here we explain these concepts and give some examples of ecological mitigation.
There are six native species of terrestrial reptiles in the UK. These need to be considered when undertaking development projects. Reptile surveys can be undertaken to inform any avoidance and mitigation that may be necessary.
Ellendale environmental ecologists undertook a FWPM survey as part of monitoring at a site in Perthshire where FWPM were translocated to avoid harm and disturbance during the project works.
We are currently seeking an experienced Ecologist / Senior Ecologist to help us grow our Edinburgh based team.
An otter survey was undertaken to establish the presence / likely absence of otter from the proposed working area and to identify any features such as holts or resting sites that would need further protection during the works.
Spring is here, well, sort of… Up in Scotland in between the increasingly intermittent flurries of snow we’re seeing the crocuses coming through the ground, the wild garlic unfurling in the forests, and an increasing variety of avian activity in the skies around us.
The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations, often referred to as the Habitats Regulations, were consolidated (in England and Wales) in late 2017 to incorporate recent amendments.
Construction supervision is important and often required by planning for medium and large projects. On-site supervision of works ensures that environmental impacts are avoided and ecological mitigation is implemented in accordance with the law and best practice.
So what is a great crested newt? And what happens if you find great crested newts? It can’t all be bad news…?