Dave has over ten years’ experience as a consultant ecologist and is our Lead Ecologist. He has worked on a wide variety of projects, to which he brings together his problem-solving background in engineering, ability to use AutoCAD and knowledge gained from his masters in Ecological Impact Assessment (EcIA).
Dave holds survey licences for great crested newts (GCN) and dormice. He has successfully applied for numerous GCN mitigation licences in England and Wales.
Dave guest lectures at Bath Spa University, where he teaches bat ecology and survey techniques.
Dave has provided ecology support for a wide range of projects in different sectors, including residential, education, infrastructure, energy generation, commercial and industrial. This support includes:
Dave has acted as the project ecologist for a residential led planning application for up to 400 dwellings in Devon. Key issues related to the site being within the greater horseshoe bat sustenance zone associated with a nearby Special Area of Conservation (SAC), supporting rare cirl buntings and being in proximity to an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Dave worked closely with the design team, including the in-house landscape architect preparing the Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment, to propose an ecology and landscape led design. This included leading on the design of the green infrastructure and preparing a Landscape and Ecology Management Plan for approximately 30 hectares of on and off-site agricultural land intended to help mitigate for the loss of habitat within the proposed built development footprint. Dave prepared the Ecology chapter for the Environmental Statement and helped undertake extensive consultation. This helped satisfy key stakeholders (Natural England and the RSPB) that the proposals would be acceptable.
Dave has supported Bath Spa University in the redevelopment of their Newton Park campus. This support has included preparation of, and gaining, a great crested newt mitigation licence for the destruction of a breeding pond and loss of terrestrial habitat. Dave worked within the constraints of the busy campus being a Registered Park and Garden to propose an on-site receptor area. Our monitoring of this area of ponds and meadow grassland shows that GCN have successfully established a new population here. The results of the monitoring are fed back into the campus Landscape and Ecological Management Plan which we prepared and for which Dave prepares an annual report.
Dave worked with the Department of Energy and Climate Change to undertake a Habitat Regulations Assessment of a proposed Nuclear Power Station in Lancashire. This involved assessing potential impacts upon a Special Protection Area (SPA), SAC and Ramsar sites and liaising with technical specialists.
Dave has prepared the EcIA for a residential led planning application, for up to 180 dwellings in Warwickshire. Dave led on the design of the green infrastructure to address the key issues relating to the presence of GCN and a Local Wildlife Site on site. He helped the project gain outline permission through the preparation of a GCN mitigation strategy and Biodiversity Impact Assessment, which demonstrated that the proposals would not be detrimental to the favourable conservation status of the GCN and that, in combination with the off-site biodiversity offsetting proposals, would achieve net biodiversity gains.