Run by RSK Biocensus, RSK’s ecological business, the First Thursday Club is an opportunity to hear about new legislation, policy and best practice relating to the natural environment, and how it affects your business, through a series of webinars.
Each month, we will provide some concise lunchtime CPD and answer your questions on different aspects of ecology and sustainability.
Register now to get your monthly ecological episode delivered straight to the comfort of your own desk.
1. Avoiding Boris’s “newt-counting delays” to build back green
Thursday 6 August, 12:30–13:15
Inspired by Boris, we are talking all things newt. Have you been beset by ‘newt-counting delays’? Or do you find amphibians have a ‘mi-newt’ (sorry) effect on your progress? We’ll spare you the natural history lecture (fascinating though newts are) and dig a little deeper into new survey techniques using environmental DNA, understanding the new licensing policies for great crested newts, and how to decide on the best approach for your site.
Your August guide is Steph Wray, one of the directors of RSK Biocensus and the chair of CIEEM’s Strategic Policy Panel. Steph has 25 years’ experience in helping developers to do more than just stay on the right side of wildlife law. She cares so you don’t have to – but, after 30 minutes of talking to her, you probably will care too.
2. Badgers on development sites
Thursday 3 September, 12:30–13:15
Don’t be badgered by badgers on site! Get good advice as early as possible and we can work things out for you and the badgers. In this talk we’re going to give you some background on these fascinating critters, dispel a few myths and describe how we resolve conflicts between badgers and development schemes.
Your September guide to all things badgery is Richard (Dez) Delahay, a director of RSK Biocensus and a professor of wildlife biology at the University of Exeter. Dez has many years of experience studying badgers, managing them and helping a range of clients to deal with their presence on development sites.
3. Bringing the BREEAM home – Bat Boxes and Beyond – up to 79 credits under one roof
Thursday 1 October, 12:30–13:15
Roberta Epps from RSK Biocensus joins forces with Lorna Hurst from the RSK Carbon, Climate & Sustainability team to talk about the exciting opportunities we can offer our clients to maximise their BREEAM successes. Focusing initially on the land use and ecology credits, which make up a high proportion of those available, we’ll discuss how RSK Biocensus’ early involvement can tick-off those credits in a straightforward and cost-effective way, while our professional ecologists take a proactive and innovative approach to enhancing biodiversity to fit in with every project’s budget and aspirations.
We’ll explain why it makes commercial sense to involve RSK at the very beginning of your planning process, when our various in-house specialists, headed by our Lead Assessors, can offer a one stop shop for working towards over 70 BREEAM credits and putting your project well on its way to achieving an Excellent or Outstanding rating.
Finally, we’ll discuss how BREEAM and the relevant feed-in services also link to meeting the new London Plan, which is mandated for all large developments referable to the Mayor of London; requirements include life cycle assessments, energy statements and circular economy statements.
4. Where there’s a weir, there’s a way! Navigating the pitfalls of fish passage
Thursday 5 November, 12:30–13:15
Many species of fish undertake significant migrations within river systems to access spawning areas or to seek out new refuge or feeding areas. Fish passage issues are therefore important considerations for fisheries managers or others who own or manage in-river structures that may act as barriers, or at least as significant obstacles, to the free movement of fish.
The issue of fish passage has long been considered for salmonid species and, more recently, for the European eel. Other fish species have, until fairly recently, received somewhat less consideration. New legislation relating to free passage for all fish species has now been in preparation for several years, but issues such as Brexit and, more recently, COVID-19 have delayed its submission to parliament for approval. Notwithstanding this, UK regulators frequently require that modifications to existing structures, or the construction of new in-river structures, consider fish passage for all species.
In this webinar, Dr Peter Walker, an experienced aquatic ecologist who has worked on hundreds of fish-passage projects, will introduce the main issues surrounding fish passage and outline the processes that should be undertaken to address them.