MWA 2012 Report

The wet weather, coupled with the steady recovery within the construction industry have made for a very busy and challenging survey season in 2012. The persistent rain meant that countless bat surveys had to be postponed and rescheduled, meaning that every dry evening of the summer seemed to be taken up with bat surveys. We all have our fingers crossed for a drier 2013!

Collectively the team has carried out over 450 nights of bat and newt surveys since April 2012, no mean feat for a team of between 9 and 13 people. A special mention is required here for the Assistant Ecologists which joined us this year: Joel Wright, Sarah Lloyd-Williams, Pete Timms and Chris Harris, whose hard work, commitment and passion have been fantastic. Thank you all.

In addition to all the field work, our ecologists and senior team have been busy, preparing environmental statements, licence applications and overseeing the delivery of some massive projects. Construction at Longforth Farm, a large residential development on the outskirts of Wellington got underway this summer. MWA have been working on the project since 2003 preparing information and helping the developer, Bloor Homes gain planning permission. Due to the presence of a range of rare species on site MWA staff were the first contractors on site carrying out advance works, translocating populations of great crested newts and dormice from the construction footprint. This substantial development promises to keep Polly and the team very busy over the next few years!

We are also pleased to report this year we have maintained our growth in our work in the renewable energy sector. Since 2010 we have been involved with a innovative geothermal energy power station, over 50 different solar array sites and since the publication of the NPPF in 2012 a significant increase in the number of surveys to inform wind turbine applications. Please contact Hannah or Rachel if you would like to discuss a renewable energy project.

2012 also saw a number of badger exclusions with Harry and Tom taking the lead on excluding setts, building artificial setts and undertaking destructive searches. We have successfully guided projects through some very tricky constraints with respect to badger setts and continue to establish ourselves as one of the industry leading consultancies in this area. We are particularly pleased with our successes this year in artificial sett construction. Two setts were constructed this year, both of which were occupied by badgers shortly after their construction was completed.