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NE Publish Reptile Mitigation Guidelines

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GemmaJF View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Oct 2011 at 11:19am
I would suggest Jon that both might be a good idea. 

I think there is enough already where there is general agreement of change needed within the document to discuss at this years herp workers meeting. I'm sure there would be more to discuss in 2013 also. We waited so long for the guidelines I would like to seem the obvious problems 'fixed' as soon as possible and a follow-up workshop in 2013.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Matt Smith Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Oct 2011 at 12:04pm
Originally posted by GemmaJF GemmaJF wrote:

I would suggest Jon that both might be a good idea. 

I think there is enough already where there is general agreement of change needed within the document to discuss at this years herp workers meeting. I'm sure there would be more to discuss in 2013 also. We waited so long for the guidelines I would like to seem the obvious problems 'fixed' as soon as possible and a follow-up workshop in 2013.


Agreed. I think we need a long workshop (1.5hrs) with the NE Herp Specialist present with most of the time given over to a q&a session / discussion of the new guidelines so we can put our views directly and discuss all aspects of the document in one session. Getting a "presentation" of the guidelines and 15 mins of "question time" would be a waste of time, all those attending should have read and digested the guidelines already, as would breaking into "syndicates for case studies". It would be good to hear directly the reasoning behind some of the tables and refugia requirements as well
Independent Consultant Ecologist ¦ Berkshire County Herp Recorder
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sussexecology View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sussexecology Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Oct 2011 at 12:09pm
Yes nice idea Jon.

Just a thought,: maybe there should be a workshop that is just for consultants (and not those who are linked to local groups). 

I reckon that if you had a workshop at the end of the season in 2012 that would be good too, because we would have had some time to practice using the new guidelines. If you had one before the season, there might be lengthy debates on capture effort.  But i would agree with Gemma that both would be ideal.

Getting more used to using the capture effort calculations, but i would like to know how the authors have scientifically worked this out.




Edited by sussexecology - 26 Oct 2011 at 7:51pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paul Edgar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Oct 2011 at 5:59pm

Hello All

The reason that Natural England has been relatively quiet on this topic (many thanks to Duncan for holding the fort!) is simply that the herp specialist post has been vacant for a while.  But please rest assured that your comments haven’t just been ignored.  I’ll be taking over as Natural England’s herp specialist next week and will be based in our Winchester office.  Although I don’t officially start until 1st November, I’ve already been looking at some of the more urgent issues such as this one. 

I can now tell you that Natural England has decided to withdraw the Reptile Mitigation Guidelines shortly so that various points can be clarified.  This shouldn’t detract from the fact that they’re already good guidelines, and a massive improvement on anything we’ve had before now, but this is an important subject and we really want to make sure that they’re as clear and as widely accepted as possible.  We’d also think it's crucial to incorporate as much additional scientific evidence as we can, e.g. arising from the latest DICE research.  So, if you haven’t done so already, this will give you all a second chance to formerly contribute to the guidelines.

Although I can’t confirm everything until I actually start, the likely timetable will be that we announce sometime next week that the guidelines are being officially withdrawn in order to make some revisions and to seek further feedback.  You’ll then be able to view the current guidelines as a draft.  An amended version will subsequently be re-issued as soon as possible, certainly before the start of next season, but with another chance to comment on a draft of this beforehand.  In the meantime of course there will be an overlap period when any new fee proposals produced should continue to use existing guidance (we’ll let our Land Use staff and local authorities know what’s going on).

The e-mail given for feedback in the guidelines will still stand and naturally I'll also welcome any direct contributions.  The new draft should be available by the end of the year and, if required, I’ll organise a meeting specifically to discuss this for anyone who’s interested, probably around mid-January.  I hope this will be more useful than trying to cram everything into a short workshop at the Herp Workers’ Meeting (besides, ARC have already firmed up the agenda so a reptile mitigation workshop wasn’t going to happen at the 2012 HWM anyway).  All guidelines should be periodically reviewed as a matter of course so, if this approach proves useful, we can hold similar meetings on a regular basis and produce updated versions in future as and when needed.

Three other things I would ask are:

  • Along with your comments, please also send any positive thoughts about what you think works well in the current guidelines – it would be great shame if the fact that Jim produced such an excellent, and much needed, publication gets lost along the way.
  • Once the revised guidelines are published give them at least a couple of years to see how they work in practice.
  • You’re the experts in reptile mitigation (the last time I did it you could still catch the odd dinosaur) so, where appropriate, please do invite me along to see what you’re doing on the ground.

I expect I’ll be pretty busy immediately after 1st November, so probably won’t be able to post on here very regularly, but I’ll no doubt be in contact with many of you individually before long.  I hope this helps clarify the situation in the meantime.

Cheers for now  - and herps first!

Paul Edgar

Senior Environmental Specialist (Amphibians & Reptiles), Natural England
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sussexecology Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Oct 2011 at 2:21pm
Thanks v much for your comments, Paul.

You would be very welcome to come out on any of our mitigation projects next year to see the capture effort on the ground or indeed surveys. It is early days still, but will certainly feed back to  you on what we think works and what we think doesn't work.

Good luck in your new post too.

Look forward to meeting you at some point as i am sure everyone else on here is too. Above all, thanks for listening to our comments re our concerns.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Oct 2011 at 8:13pm
Welcome to RAUK Paul and another thanks for your very welcome comments, very glad to know we are being listened to. 

I also couldn't agree more, I wouldn't want to see the current guidelines lost in a wave of criticism considering that the bulk of the information and written text is extremely welcome. If some of the issues raised can be addressed over the winter and the document 'fixed' as it were, that would be a fantastic outcome. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Matt Smith Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Nov 2011 at 10:24am
Originally posted by GemmaJF GemmaJF wrote:

I also couldn't agree more, I wouldn't want to see the current guidelines lost in a wave of criticism considering that the bulk of the information and written text is extremely welcome. If some of the issues raised can be addressed over the winter and the document 'fixed' as it were, that would be a fantastic outcome. 


I would agree with this, there is a lot of "good stuff" in the document, we just need some fine tuning of parts of it I think.
Independent Consultant Ecologist ¦ Berkshire County Herp Recorder
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sussexecology Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Nov 2011 at 5:52pm
Originally posted by Matt Smith Matt Smith wrote:

Originally posted by GemmaJF GemmaJF wrote:

I also couldn't agree more, I wouldn't want to see the current guidelines lost in a wave of criticism considering that the bulk of the information and written text is extremely welcome. If some of the issues raised can be addressed over the winter and the document 'fixed' as it were, that would be a fantastic outcome. 


I would agree with this, there is a lot of "good stuff" in the document, we just need some fine tuning of parts of it I think.


And ditto from us too. Smile

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Noodles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Nov 2011 at 8:35am
So the new guidelines are now 'null and void' and any surveys planned for next year based on these should 'revert' back to Froglife guidance until further notified? How bizarre!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote herpetologic2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Nov 2011 at 8:59am
Yet more confusion on NE and IEEM's front.

1. the guidelines I would suggest still stand as a draft they are not going to be changed a great deal they will be clarified to avoid the confusion around them.
2. Froglife do not have any advice on reptile mitigation - HGBI does
3. I would point people to the guidance in the 2004 publication Reptiles guide for developers by English Nature rather than the outdated previous guidelines.

The key messages in that publication and the current draft guidelines is that reptile mitigation should maintain or enhance the conservation status of widespread reptiles as well as taking action which prevents killing and injury to animals during works etc.

Proper survey work prior, during and after are very much key to this so please consultants aim to do better than the standard 7 days of survey with 5 to 10 acos per ha etc


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