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Monday, 20 August 2012 10:34 [ Invasives and non-natives ]

 As we enter late summer, the 'Asian hornet' Vespa velutina reaches its most active time of year, and this is likely to be the year they reach Britain.

As part of the 'GB rapid response protocol', Defra's Non-Native Species Secretariat (NNSS) has issued a species alert for... Read more...

Friday, 03 August 2012 21:03 [ CGO Ecology news ]

Summer usually presents an unpredictable time for CGO Ecology’s business diary. The bulk of season-specific work we do is in the spring, and the nature and volume of work during the rest of the year is more variable.

However, we seem to be weathering the economic downturn well enough,... Read more...

Tuesday, 17 July 2012 21:30 [ Molluscs ]

Buglife, the Invertebrate Conservation Trust, has reported that England's largest population of freshwater pearl mussels (Margaritifera margaritifera) has been devastated by lowered water levels.

Low outflow levels from Ennerdale Water Reservoir in Cumbria reduced flow in the ... Read more...

Monday, 02 July 2012 14:58 [ Legislation and planning ]

The UK's statutory nature conservation organisations have announced the commencement of the 6th 'Quinquennial Review' (QQR) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (WCA).

As implied, the review takes place every five years, wherein an inter-agency working group led by JNCC... Read more...

Sunday, 17 June 2012 10:25 [ Meetings and events ]

The 7th World Congress of Herpetology is less than eight weeks away. Held every four years, this year's event will take place in Vancouver, Canada, at the University of British Columbia between 8-14 August 2012.

The first day of the congress (8 August) will be devoted to society business ... Read more...

Wednesday, 13 June 2012 13:54 [ Research and discussion ]

Do reptiles live on floodplains? It is a question I have often asked myself, and usually concluded that the answer is largely 'no.' The obvious exception is the grass snake, a highy mobile species, at home in agricultural and managed landscapes, and a good swimmer.

I wouldn't expect to...

Wednesday, 23 May 2012 19:51 [ Research and discussion ]

An open letter to Justin McCracken, Chief Executive of the Health Protection Agency, in response to their press release "County walking? Think snakes..." (23/5/12):

Dear Mr McCracken,

I object most strongly to the Health Protection Agency’s
press release about adders...

Sunday, 29 April 2012 10:51 [ Amphibians ]

(First published on 18/4/12 on the ARGUK website

Recent media attention has highlighted the impact of current drought conditions on natterjack toad breeding success. Natterjack breeding ponds are typically shallow sandy pools which dry up ... Read more...

Thursday, 12 April 2012 18:23 [ Invasives and non-natives ]

Britain's freshwater environments are host to many invasive alien species, from amphibians to plants, crayfish to fungus. Today saw the deadline of a Europe-wide consultation on how we should deal with them.

The consultation's aim was to help develop acceptable legislation on... Read more...

Thursday, 29 March 2012 13:25 [ Invasives and non-natives ]

Defra's Non-Native Species Secretariat (NNSS) has announced very worrying news for Britain's trees.

An outbreak of the Asian longhorn beetle (ALB), an exotic beetle pest which could have severe consequences for British trees, has been found in Kent the Food and Environment Research... Read more...

Tuesday, 27 March 2012 15:50 [ Legislation and planning ]

The UK Government today released its long-awaited National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). The document contains 57 pages of guidelines that replace all previous planning guidance, including Planning Policy Statement 9 on biodiversity and geological conservation.

The main...

Monday, 05 March 2012 18:30 [ Conservation and policy ]

Britain's only venomous snake, the adder (Vipera berus), has often been in the news over the last year or so. Fears over its apparent decline have raised media attention across the UK, but rarely does a lowly reptile precipitate such fuss as a parliamentary question and a note in... Read more...

Wednesday, 15 February 2012 17:01 [ Archaeology and palaeoecology ]

Many of you will be unaware that Britain was once home to some rather exotic species - including freshwater turtles. Today, the European pond terrapin Emys orbicularis is confined to warmer parts of Europe today, but during the 'Atlantic warm period' about 6000-9000 years ago, this... Read more...

Sunday, 05 February 2012 20:54 [ Reptiles ]

After years of speculation, it's now official - grass snakes are native to Scotland.

Conventional wisdom has always maintained that the grass snake (Natrix natrix) is native to England and Wales, but not to Scotland. Its northern range edge curiously matches the Scottish... Read more...

Monday, 23 January 2012 08:57 [ CGO Ecology news ]

The majority of CGO Ecology's work is field-based, and focuses on the most active periods for wildlife: spring, summer and autumn. Winter tends to be a less busy time, taken up with report writing, general site assessments, licence returns and renewals, tenders, and sharing data with LRCs and... Read more...

Monday, 16 January 2012 16:41 [ CGO Ecology news ]

When the plug was pulled in summer 2010 on funding for the planned renewal works on the A338 Spur Road near Bournemouth, the associated ecological works ground to a halt. And as the future of the project lies in limbo, this often raises questions.

As CGO Ecology is often...

Thursday, 12 January 2012 09:02 [ Meetings and events ]

Amphibian and Reptile Conservation has announced that the deadline for registration for this year's Herpetofauna Workers' Meeting has been extended to Monday 16 January. Registration for the whole weekend is £91 for ARG members, ARC friends etc.

The HWM is being held from ...

Monday, 12 December 2011 23:10 [ Invasives and non-natives ]

An invasive species of crustacean known as the killer shrimp (Dikerogammarus villosus) is feared to be establishing itself in the UK. First identified at Grafham Water in Cambridgeshire in September 2010, it has since been identified at two locations in Wales, and may be... Read more...

Wednesday, 07 December 2011 22:00 [ Meetings and events ]

Bournemouth once again played host to the annual ARC/BHS Scientific Meeting last Sunday, 4 December 2011. Over a hundred attendees made it a sell-out, and with a diverse programme of speakers, the meeting proved as popular as ever.

The conference is jointly organised by...

Monday, 21 November 2011 19:55 [ Reptiles ]

The adder, Britain's only venomous snake, is in crisis. This is the conclusion drawn by a group of reptile experts and conservationists who attended a conference on the latest research on adders, including reports about its status in this country.

The meeting at Greenwich University in...

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"We applied to build a barn to be sited on an arable field.  The council asked for a biodiversity appraisal, and placed a short deadline for receipt. We engaged Dr Chris Gleed-Owen who made a site visit within days, and delivered a fully researched report with plans, species list and recommendation a few days later, within the required timescale.  We have therefore avoided the need for extensions and delays.  Thank you Chris.

Susan Ross, Frankham Farm, Ryme Intrinseca


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