Sara King BSc (Hons) AIEEM
A new five-step process has now been developed that can inform effective planning to protect and enhance the value of urban green spaces. Small areas of semi-natural vegetation, farmlands and abandoned farmlands provide important ecosystem services in urban environments.
Although the cold weather is still upon us, spring will soon be descending and amphibians will be beginning to wake up from hibernation.
Natural England is launching a detailed great crested newt survey programme across England. The first phase of the programme includes habitat suitability surveys and water quality assessment of a sample of ponds.
As great crested newt survey season approaches, we ask what is so ‘great’ about great crested newts? And why do they always seem to cause delays and additional expense to development programmes? Do you ever get the feeling they seem to be everywhere in the UK?
We all know the benefits of enjoying the countryside and fresh air. A stroll through the countryside, along the banks of a canal or to the local park can improve our mood, reduce stress and help keep off those unwanted pounds. However, now an American tool has been developed to illustrate the link between human health and natural habitats.
Great crested newts on your development site can sometimes be seen as an inconvenience and a problem. They can cause additional expense and delays to construction programmes as they have specific seasonal constraints. However, if handled the right way they don’t have to be. They can even add value to your development.
One of the main sources of this renewable energy will be from wind turbines, and extensive research has been undertaken to assess the impacts of wind farms on wildlife, particularly bird species. Another source of renewable energy currently under development is wave and tidal energy. Awareness of impacts on seabirds as a result of these schemes are not so widely publicised, and limited research has been undertaken to assess the impacts of these schemes of the UK’s seabird populations.
The UK experienced the wettest summer for 100 years, with recent flooding affecting the whole country. The wet weather has led to poor foraging conditions for a range of species, particularly bats. Bats forage on invertebrates and usually require dry conditions to leave the roost to forage during the summer months. High rainfall reduces invertebrate activity, and therefore limits foraging opportunities for bats.
Landscape design is key to development schemes, but sometimes it can be difficult to include biodiversity enhancements due to pressures associated with budgets and timescales.