Winter Newsletter 2017-2018

Another busy year at Norfolk Wildlife Services, with survey work across Norfolk for a huge variety of projects. Read highlights about how we helped our clients, the wildlife we have seen in our most recent winter newsletter in download here!

Alternatively you can select individual articles from this newsletter below!

Winter 2017/2018 newsletter

Click here to download our winter 2017/2018 newsletter

This issue:


Select our newsletter (Right) to download and save your own copy.

We hope you enjoy reading our newsletter.

Keep in touch with us if you need advice or protected species surveys undertaking for the spring ahead. You can contact us here.




Meet our new (joint) business officer – Rachael Barber

Along with my colleague Siobhan, I work with clients to identify your project’s needs and issue quotes. I also deal with our business finances and keep our electronic paperwork system in order.

Rachael showing the difference between different gulls

Rachael Barber guiding a seabird and cetacean group

After working as a marine wildlife guide at sea, I moved to Norfolk in 2008 and completed a Masters degree in Applied Ecology and Conservation.

I joined Norfolk Wildlife Services in March 2017 from my previous role as Marine Data Coordinator. I am keen to transfer my skills and knowledge to a terrestrial ecological consultancy business.


Whales and dolphins continue to be a big passion of mine and I am a partner in the marine charity the World Cetacean Alliance. I am a fully BTO qualified bird ringer, involved in monitoring projects on reed warblers and tawny owls. Winter means catching and monitoring many migrant finches including goldfinch, brambling and siskin.

I am looking forward to being in touch with you soon!

Spring Newsletter 2017

All our latest wildlife news in our Norfolk Wildlife Services’ Spring Newsletter 2017.

In this issue we bring you :

Or click to download a pdf copy

New addition to our Arboricultural Service


Jim Allitt, Arboriculturist

Jim Allitt surveying trees

As introduction I am James “Jim” Allitt – the arboricultural consultant – at Norfolk Wildlife Services, where we can offer you full tree surveys and advice to British Standards BS5837. I am also a fully qualified tree surgeon with a Level 4 diploma, a Lantra Professional Tree Inspection award and full tickets for aerial inspection and MEWPs. I like to think I have a combination of the planning and the practical. I will also be blending these arb skills with ecology advice, where my 8 years working on National Nature Reserves in North and West Norfolk comes in handy.

Our vision is of a fully joined up ecology and tree consultancy service, helping client’s projects to success and sustainability.

Trees and woodlands have been a great fascination to me from the local woods of my youth in Yorkshire to my time in Ireland with Coillte ( the Irish Forestry Board ) as an arborist. Once area I have a specialist interest in is Ancient trees and landscape history. We will be offering a ‘Valuing and managing veteran trees’ lunchtime seminar in March. I hope to meet some of you then. Keep in touch and let me know how I can help you with your projects.

Take a look at our Tree Surveys and Consultancy page for more information on the full range of services we can offer.

Get a tree-mendous survey

On development sites trees are both important assets, but also potential constraints. Did you know that NWS offers the same development-advice service for trees as it already offers to clients for ecology ?

On the positive side, when managed well trees form key opportunities for wildlife, offer visual amenity to complement the architectural elements and can add a strong sense of place to new developments. They also create micro-climate buffers to sites by contributing screening and shade, reducing wind speed and turbulence, intercepting dust and rainfall, and stabilising temperatures. Mature trees add significant value to properties.

Conversely though, development that doesn’t consider tree roots, hazards, future growth and how the built environment relates to these natural assets will swiftly run into problems. Planning authorities – normally via a BS5837 survey – will carefully check how any new development relates to trees in and around the development site, and how they will be managed in the future.

Tree surveysAs part of the BS5837 survey report, we will assess the value of trees based on their health, remaining lifespan and amenity impact. We provide a Tree Constraints Plan (TCP) showing root protection areas and existing and future crown spreads in a format to suit the client. This is used to initially inform architects when designing site layouts. The TCP helps to inform future tree management and immediately identifies necessary tree works – including hazards.

An Arboricultural Implications Assessment (AIA) follows final design, where the impact of the design proposal on the surrounding trees is assessed as well as the interaction the trees will have on the finished development. This information informs the Tree Protection Plan (TPP) which gives advice on protective measures for the trees on site. The TPP also gives clear indications of potential conflict between trees and the proposed site layout.

Often following planning permission is the Arboricultural Method Statement (AMS), which specifies tree protection measures and any specialised construction techniques. An AMS provides the information package for contractors to fully protect trees during construction and is helpful for tendering works. In our tree surveys and reports, we will also offer guidance on replacements for trees removed and any new planting specifications.

If you have questions about the services offered by our new arboriculturist or if you would like to discuss how a tree survey would help your planning proposals please contact Jim Allitt on: Email: Telephone: 01603 625540


New Constructionline accreditation

NWS is proud to announce that we have been recently fully accredited by Constructionline.

In order to register with Constructionline, which is a government-led scheme, we have had to demonstrate that our company reaches national Health and Safety and other compliance standards for finance, governance and personnel management, a pre-requisite for working with many companies in both industry and government sectors.

Having the accreditation automatically pre-qualifies us for contracts let via constructionline and allows easy access for clients when sourcing ecological services.

On a day-to-day basis, it gives you additional assurance that the company is operated in a safe and professional manner.

Constructionline accreditation

NWS is now a Constructionline accredited contractor.

New CHAS accreditation

NWS is pleased to announce that we are now an accredited contractor for the Contractors Health & Safety Assessment Scheme (CHAS). Health and safety is very important to NWS and our new CHAS accreditation shows that we meet required health and safety standards. This independent assurance means you can guarantee that any work conducted by NWS on your behalf will be undertaken in a professional and safe manner.

CHAS accreditation

We are now a CHAS accredited contractor.

Norfolk Wildlife Services’ Autumn Newsletter

We’ve had a busy summer here at NWS and have enjoyed working with you all immensely. Catch up on all our latest news in our Norfolk Wildlife Services’ Autumn Newsletter 2016.

In this issue we bring you news on our exciting new partnership, interesting facts on bat roosts and how these might be affected by lighting, tips on how to plan dog- and wildlife-friendly sites, and updates on recent staff training.

NWS Autumn Newsletter

Happy dog, happy wildlife

Dog walking can be one of the best ways to get people out and about experiencing nature but our faithful hounds and our beloved wildlife often have conflicting needs, making it difficult to create green spaces suitable for both. Follow these top five tips to plan a greenspace that will result in happy dogs, and happy wildlife:

Happy dog, happy wildlife

Emily and Stig (the world’s first water vole detection dog) enjoying a dog walk and experiencing nature.

  1.  Provide areas of enclosed greenspace. Offering safe areas for dogs to run off-lead makes dog-owners more likely to respect on-lead areas.
  2. Create a circular dog walking route, with clear, defined paths. Obvious paths will encourage dog walkers to stick to a set route meaning they are less likely to disturb more valuable wildlife areas.
  3. Ensure these areas and routes are within 500m of new homes. Placing suitable areas within walking distance will deter owners from driving to areas further-a-field that they perceive to be suitable greenspace.
  4. A range of all-weather surfaces with a naturalistic feel will guarantee dog walkers consistent access without having to invest in walking boots.
  5. Construct an area of clean water with safe access for dogs. Providing an assigned ‘splash-about’ area will keep dogs out of water which contains sensitive wildlife.

If you’d like more advice on planning for wildlife and dogs, Hampshire County Council have produced a wonderful document: Planning for dog ownership in new developments: reducing conflict – adding value.

Stig, pictured is the world’s first water vole detection dog. He is trained in the art of water vole poo detection. To find out more about Stig, his partner in training Lola, and their handler Ali, visit Ecology Dogs. Alternatively, keep regularly up-to-date with their water vole finds by following @EcologyDogs on Twitter.



Impact of lighting on bats

Here at NWS, we are often asked to advise on the ecological impact of lighting on bats. Generally we recommend keeping lighting to a minimum and directing it away from any potential bat roosts or foraging and commuting areas because bats can be very sensitive to both the light itself and its consequent effects.

Illuminating bat roosts may cause bats to abandon their roost as the light delays their emergence and shortens the time available to them for foraging. A peak in insect abundance occurs soon after dusk, so this delayed emergence means they miss out on important feeding. Many of these night-flying insects that constitute the bat’s diet swarm around street lighting. However, certain species of bat, notably the rarer species, avoid street lights, meaning they miss out on this abundant food source.

Lighting can also cause barriers to commuting bats therefore isolating populations. It can also make them more vulnerable to predation. Kestrels (an avian predator to bats) have been observed hunting at night under the artificial lighting along motorways.

We now use a lux meter to measure light intensity during bat surveys. The result from the lux meter can help us advise on the impacts of installing lighting to an area and from this we can offer recommendations on how best to limit the effects.

Dr Emma Stone, a researcher at the University of Bristol is conducting ongoing research into the effects of lighting on bats. From Emma’s research, an overview and guidelines surrounding this issue have been produced by both Emma and the Bat Conservation Trust. However, as part of their Bats and the built environment series, the BCT has produced a condensed, user-friendly version of these guidelines: Bats and lighting in the UK.

Lux chart showing impact of lighting on bats

Lux chart showing the emergence of different species at varying light levels.