My skills as a herpetologist, birdwatcher and naturalist:
- Ornithologist since childhood.
- Considerable experience of bird surveys.
- Herpetologist since 1989 carrying out numerous amphibian and reptile surveys and the conservation of herpetofauna.
- Practical advice on guidelines for surveys and mitigation, from the creation of buffers zones and wildlife areas within proposed developments, to translocations.
- Mitigation needs to be adequate and to be successful in the long term, and experienced herpetologists can use their skills to use the 'guidelines' to carry out surveys, reports, habitat enchancment, and mitigation, that are thorough and sucessful without being risk adverse
- Held a Great Crested Newt licence for all English Counties since 1989, doing numerous surveys from small ponds to a broad surveys, pipeline routes, housing developments, and conservation projects.
- Experience as licence holder for mitigation work relating to Great Crested Newts.
- One of the main surveyors in the initial surveys and mitigation of Orton brick pits in the 1990s, a vast site with hundreds of ponds that is biggest Great Crested Newt colony in the UK.
- A 'broad' Great Crested Newt survey of ponds in Clywd, that has one of the largest concentrations of Great Crested Newts in the UK, sometimes identifying up to 30 ponds in a day in optimal areas by using skills as a herpeotologist and naturalist.
- Surveys for various conservation projects relating to reptiles and amphibians.
- NaturalEngland licence for Sand Lizard surveys, assisting SARG with traing for surveying for Sand Lizards.
- Experience of habitat management/enhancement for reptiles and amphibians, including the creation of ponds and hibernacula.
- Practical experience of appropriate and successful mitigation projects for reptiles, from the translocation of c2000 Slow Worms to the London Wetland Centre, to smaller translocations, such as translocating Slow Worms to the British Wildlife Centre.
- Completing the original surveys and the mitigation plan for a recyling centre on a brownfield site in Basildon, Essex from 2005 to 2008. This resulted in the creation of the Nevendon Washland Nature Reserve on nearby land, the area that was created being larger than the original site and with more ponds (9 instead of 2). Crucially, numerous hibernacula were created and over 8 hectares of habitat translocated from the original site (from grassland to shrubs), creating 'instant' habitat. Over 2009/2010, 2,000 Great Crested Newts, 2000 Smooth Newts, 1500 Slow Worms, c300 Common Lizards, 30 Adders and 20 Grass Snakes were translocated. The site has been managed by Herptelogic and the site now has one of the highest Great Crested Newts counts in Essex, proving tranlocations can work with the creation of appropriate habitats.
- Survey of invasive 'aliens' like the American Bullfrog, being the main site ecologist as the 'Cowden' bullfrog site from 1999 to 2002.
- Familiar with writing up surveys and reports, including Preliminary Ecological Surveys and Ecological Impact Asssessments.
- Familiar with reptiles and amphibians in the UK, Europe and other parts of the World, including a Pool Frog survey acroos Europe in 1999 and a general amphibian survey of the TIza river on the Hungary/Ukraine border in 2002.
- Assistance with a survey of 'water frogs' in the UK to help distinguish Marsh, Edible and Pool Frogs by call and other features (overall appearance and leg length), surveys that contributed to Julia Wycherley's thesis on the 'water frog' complex, and contributed to the conclusions about the 'native' Pool Frogs in the UK.
- Experience of Water Vole surveys.
- Presence/absence surveys for bats, also assiting with many bat surveys, and with roost counts.
- Experience of environmental ’watching briefs’.
- Checking for Japanese Knotweed, Giant Hogweed and alien ’aquatics’.
- Member (and committee member) of SARG (Surrey Amphibian & Reptile Group).
- Assistance with film crews working on reptiles and amphibians including ’Wildlife SOS’ on Animal Planet with Wildlife Aid.
- Familiar with marine and rainforest environments, experience as a ’ship’s naturalist’ and as a ’resident naturalist’ in the Amazon.
- B.Sc. (hons) in Biological Sciences (specialising in Ecology) from UEA, Norwich in 1982, and a M.sc. in Oceangraphy (specialising in Marine Biology) from the University of Southampton in 1983.
- Chartered biologist (CBiol) & member of the Royal Society of Biology (MSB).
- Member (MCIEEM) of Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM).
- Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS).
Feel free to contact me for my experience with specific tasks, surveys, preliminary ecological appraisals, mitigation projects relating to reptiles, amphibians, herpetofauna in general, birds, and other protected/priority species/habitats, plus advice on 'Biodiversity Net Gain'. Overall, I am proud of the conservation tasks and the successful mitigation projects I have been inlolved with.
I have always strived to use my naturalist skills to make sure the work carried out is adequate with long term ecological success, without a risk adverse approach that can incur unnecessary costs and delays. At worst, the risk adverse approach can 'lose' the respect of people, from home owners to developers, that do have a keen interest to safeguard the environment. It should be about encouraging everyone to do the right thing for wildlife, not to make them wary and frustrated if they have protected species or priority species/habitats on a site.