Access Ecology News 2015
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Access Ecology News 2015

A new office for Access Ecology
2015 is a big year for Access Ecology as we open our Manchester office in January. We will be based in the city centre and with a view of the town hall. Principal Ecologist and Director Nick Bonsall, said: “The move will raise our profile amongst local businesses in Manchester and the wider region and allow us give more competitive rates to north west clients.”The Manchester office headed up by the West Pennine team will offer the full range of services currently offered by our Head Office. This includes protected species surveys e.g. bats, water vole, great crested newts, habitat surveys including Phase 1 surveys as well as Code of Sustainable Homes and Building Research Establishments Environmental Assessment assessments. Please visit our website for a comprehensive overview of our services
2014 has been a busy year for us at Access Ecology and with the new year and winter truly upon us we thought it was time to see what we got up to in 2014.
Badger sett shutdown and installation of new artificial sett     

During an Ecological Appraisal on a farm in Yorkshire, active main, annex and outlier badger setts were found. The active main sett was located near the centre of a development site and as such retaining the sett as part of the development was not feasible due to the level of post-construction disturbance. The decision was taken to shut down the sett and, due to the status of the sett, install an artificial sett. A Natural England badger development licence was obtained to legitimise this. The new artificial sett has 8 chambers and 4 entrances and includes blind tunnels, nesting and passing chambers. The photograph shows the artificial sett being laid out, (two chambers were removed after this to create additional blind tunnels).

The artificial sett was constructed in June this year, after which followed a process of monitoring, exclusion of the original sett. Development works on site are currently underway and we are looking forward to the post completion monitoring of the artificial sett which is due to begin in Spring next year and will continue for 2 years.

Low Impact Bat Class Licence
Principal Ecologist and Director at Access Ecology, Nick Bonsall, has been accepted as a candidate to become a Registered Consultant for the new Low Impact Bat Class Licence. This new licence is to formally launch in spring 2015 and being accepted as a candidate to become a Registered Consultant is the first step of a two step process to be able to use it. The Low Impact Bat Class Licence will cover works that have low impacts on certain bat species and certain roost types but which still need a licence.
One of the benefits of being a Registered Consultant is the reduction in the application process which mean a quicker turnaround time for clients. The turnaround time for a Low Impact Bat Class Licence is 10 days as opposed to the standard 30 of a mitigation licence. All candidates must complete a two day workshop before becoming Registered Consultants and getting a unique registration number which can be used in step two, registering each site before undertaking any licensable works. Congratulations to Nick for being accepted thus far.
Great Crested Newt Monitoring 
This was the first of six years of post development monitoring for great crested newts on an ecological compensation area created when a dual carriage way was extended. The aim of the surveys was to gather great crested newt population data for the thirteen ponds on site, and to assess the suitability of the terrestrial compensation area. The thirteen ponds were surveyed six times between April and May and the results showed that the site as a whole supports a medium population of Great crested newts. Look closely at the picture, it shows evidence of leaf folding in one of the ponds.

Great crested newt eggs can be distinguished from smaller newts due to their size shape and colour. Recommendations have been made for improvements to terrestrial areas on site. This result in the first year of monitoring is a fantastic starting point to further enhance the site and hopefully increase the population. We are certainly looking forward to returning next year.
Conviction in court
Jon Goodrick a Senior Ecologist for Access Ecology has been giving evidence at a recent court case in Scunthorpe. Jon has been involved in the case from the beginning advising the defendant to delay work on the building due to the presence of bats and a bird’s nest. The defendant was found guilty at North Lincolnshire Magistrates’ Court of damaging or destroying the resting place of bats and a nest of swallows in August 2014, something he denies.

The charge comes under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 and the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. The defendant was fined £600 and ordered to pay an additional £600 costs and a Government imposed £50 victims’ surcharge. Jon Goodrick holds a Class 2 bat licence and has been at Access Ecology for 4 years.
Student Placement
Spring is around the corner and that means it’s time for us to start looking for a new student to join us on placement! If you think this is something you’d be interested in please send your C.V. and a short introduction about yourself, and why you would like to join Access Ecology for your placement.
Previous placement students have been involved in field surveys, survey analysis, data analysis, data searches and much more. A placement with Access Ecology would involve unsociable working hours and overnights away.

Keep Up to date with Access Ecology and Industry news by following our blog.

Bat swarming
As ecologists with a specialism in bats we are also involved with our local bat group. We regularly take part in surveys in the South Yorkshire area to build up a better picture of the bats that live amongst us. On one of these occasions, one of our ecologists along with members from the South Yorkshire Bat Group were surveying a cave using our thermal imaging camera for bat activity and this is what they saw.
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Head Office:
East Pennine Team, R1b Riverside Block, Sheafbank Buisness Park, Sheffield, S2 3EN
Tel 0114 2587819

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Tel 0161 457 1520,

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