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The 2013 ecology survey season begins - Hibernating Dormouse - copyright J Stuart

Ecology – who, what, why, when, where?

As the 2013 ecology survey season begins, it’s important to know who, what, why, when and where! Cornwall Environmental Consultants (CEC) Ltd, is the trading arm of Cornwall Wildlife Trust and has been in the business for over 20 years. With a team of dedicated, qualified and experienced ecologists who can undertake all ecological and wildlife survey requirements for any type of project, large or small, that basically covers the question of ‘who?’

So how about the other questions? ‘What’ – wildlife legislation protects a number of British habitats and species, due to declines in numbers or distribution and contribution to biodiversity. It’s important to survey for such species, and where necessary put mitigation measures in place, to ensure that habitats and wildlife remain protected and abundant.

Principal Ecologist, Jenny Stuart weighing a hibernating dormouse‘Why’? Well without wildlife legislation and policy, Britain could lose many of its native species. That’s not just sad but it’s also dire for Britain’s biodiversity. A good example of this is the water vole which is now sadly extinct in Cornwall.

‘When and where’? Some species can only be surveyed for during particular times of the year, due to hibernation, mating or migration behaviour. ‘Where’ will entirely depend on the proposed site for development – from a small barn in your back garden you wish to convert to a holiday home, to a field of hundreds of acres proposed for new houses – chances are you need to get an ecologist involved pretty quickly to establish what wildlife could potentially be on site.

Jenny Stuart, Principal Ecologist for CEC says; “From past experience, clients who have got an ecologist involved early on in the project tend to have the fewest problems and delays to their planning proposals.”

CEC is proud to be a not-for-profit company – all profits made are donated to Cornwall Wildlife Trust to aid its efforts to conserve Cornwall’s wildlife. For more information about CEC please visit www.cecenvironment.co.uk or call 01872 245510. For more information about Cornwall Wildlife Trust, or to become a member, please visit www.cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk or call 01872 273939.

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