Archive of: Biodiversity

Tay Landscape Partnership Buildings for Biodiversity Conference

Share this article:

Tay Landscape Partnership Buildings for Biodiversity Conference

Caledonian Conservation Ltd is proud to sponsor the Tay Landscape Partnership Buildings for Biodiversity Conference, to be held at Perth Concert Hall on 9th November.  As people expand urban environments and develop new areas for natural resources such as renewable energy, it is becoming increasingly clear that segregation of wildlife and development is not realistic;  instead, we need to ensure biodiversity benefits are integrated in to these projects.  This conference therefore tackles an important and very current topic.

While developments offer obvious challenges for wildlife, there are many opportunities to benefit biodiversity.  Tay Landscape Partnership pioneered a landscape scale approach to identifying these opportunities with their Buildings for Biodiversity and Tay to Braes projects, which we are proud to have contributed to at Caledonian Conservation Ltd.

The conference programme is wide ranging, covering wildlife law and development, mitigation and enhancement for species, or broader biodiversity opportunities such as green roofs.  The speakers are from an equally diverse range of organisations, including Gaia Research, Swift Conservation, Police Scotland, and Arc Architects Ltd.  Pioneering and inspirational urban ecologist Dusty Gedge will also be giving a talk on Nature-‘based Solutions in the Urban Real.’

As well as the main presentations, there will also be a series of shorter talks including one by Caledonian Conservation Ltd Director Chris Cathrine, as well as Butterfly Conservation Scotland, Inchture Parish Church, Hillcrest Housing Association, Bat Conservation Trust, and the local Amphibian and Reptile Group.

For more information on the event, visit the The Tay Landscape Partnership Buildings for Biodiversity Conference website.

For more information on the landscape scale biodiversity work Caledonian Conservation Ltd completed for Tay Landscape Partnership’s Buildings for Biodiversity and Tay to Braes projects, download the report from our publications page, or directly here: Cathrine, C., Flood, E., Norris, G. and Johnston, S. 2015. Tay Landscape Partnership: Habitats and Buildings Survey. Caledonian Conservation Ltd, Hamilton.


Success! TWIC Spring Conference: Farming and Biodiversity Spring Conference

Share this article:

Success! TWIC Spring Conference: Farming and Biodiversity Spring Conference

Caledonian Conservation sponsored The Wildlife Information Centre (TWIC) Spring Conference ‘Farming and Biodiversity in Scotland – An Essential Partnership’ at Musselburgh on Saturday 29th April.  Niall Currie (Assistant Ecologist) reports...

The event was very well attended and allowed farmers, land managers, ecologists and biological recorders to meet and exchange ideas.  The excellent range of topics varied from the experience of individual farmers carrying out conservation projects on their farms, to global issues such as planning how best to manage soils and the incredibly complex ecological communities they support.

Other talks included individual species conservation projects, such as the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust’s research into improving the survival prospects of grey partridge (Perdix perdix) on farms by increasing vegetation cover during the breeding season and over winter.

The break for lunch, gave attendees the opportunity to explore stands and learn about TWIC’s latest citizen science project - the Scottish Spider Search - which Caledonian Conservation has helped to develop in partnership with the British Arachnological Society and Buglife.

The afternoon session included an update from Pete Minting (Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust) on the exciting ‘Great Crested Newt Detectives Project’, which has been trialing new methods of using DNA samples of pond water to determine whether great crested newts, and to which Caledonian Conservation has also contributed by surveying remote ponds and providing control samples from known sites.

The conference was a great success, being the largest arranged by TWIC to date, and a ‘sell out’ (although Caledonian Conservation’s sponsorship allowed the conference to be free to attend).


TWIC 2017 Spring Conference: Farming and Biodiversity in Scotland – An Essential Partnership

Share this article:

TWIC 2017 Spring Conference: Farming and Biodiversity in Scotland – An Essential Partnership

Caledonian Conservation Ltd is proud to sponsor The Wildlife Information Centre (TWIC) 2017 Spring Conference, to be held in Musselburgh on 29th April.  The topic, Farming and Biodiversity, is always important but is brought in to sharper focus with the uncertainty created by Brexit.

Farming and biodiversity are an essential partnership – farming cannot succeed without the ecosystem services necessary to support it, such as pollination (by wild solitary bees, bumblebees, beetles, flies, butterflies and moths as well as domesticated honey bees), soil creation and recycling (by a variety of worms, springtails, symphylans, fungi – the list goes on!), clean water and natural pest control.  Farming can also offer excellent opportunities to support biodiversity, for example birds (breeding habitat for farmland bird species, nesting opportunities for owls, foraging habitat for raptors and owls), mammals (foraging and roosting opportunities for bats), reptiles (hibernation sites in walls and foraging opportunities in field margins), amphibians (ponds and a mix of farmland habitats can be excellent for great crested newts), invertebrates and plants.

Reflecting this, the conference has a superb and varied programme with talks on soil communities (by Dr Tim Daniell of University of Sheffield / The James Hutton Institute), grey partridge conservation (by Fiona Torrance of The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust) and great crested newts (by Pete Minting of Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust) amongst other topics.

Of course, members of the Caledonian Conservation Ltd team will also be at the conference, so it is an opportunity to learn more about the work we do.

The conference is free to attend, and includes a buffet lunch.

For more information on the programme and to book, visit the TWIC website.

We hope to see you there!


Caledonian Conservation wins NBN John Sawyer Award!

Share this article:

Caledonian Conservation wins NBN John Sawyer Award!

Caledonian Conservation is proud to announce that we were selected as the winner of the 2016 National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Trust John Sawyer Award for open data.  This award is presented annually to the data partner who is making the greatest contribution to open biodiversity data in the UK.  The award is named in memory of John Sawyer, a former NBN CEO who is highly inspirational.  Caledonian Conservation is only the second organisation to be presented with the John Sawyer Award – the first being The Mammal Society in 2015.

Several members of the Caledonian Conservation team attended the awards ceremony at the NBN Conference held at the National Museum of Scotland on 17th November 2016.  Chris Cathrine (Director (Ecology)) accepted the award on behalf of the organisation, and said:

“We are all deeply honoured that Caledonian Conservation Ltd has been selected for the John Sawyer Award.

Caledonian Conservation Ltd is dedicated to ensuring as much of our biodiversity data is publicly available as possible within legal restrictions, and NBN is the perfect platform for this.

It's so important that everyone is able to learn about the wildlife in their local area for their own enjoyment and to ensure there is a sense of ownership leading to a desire to protect biodiversity for future generations.

It is also essential that biodiversity data is available to academia and governments to monitor trends, and to professional ecologists designing habitat management plans or undertaking Ecological Impact Assessments for developments.

We hope that in future sharing of biodiversity data openly and at high resolution will be standard practice.”

We are pleased to say that we have many more records currently being formatted for submission to NBN, from a variety of projects (research, Site Condition Monitoring and development projects such as wind farms).  When uploaded to NBN, these datasets will be publicly available at the highest resolution possible under a CC BY licence (under which data are made available for any use provided that attribution is appropriately given for the sources of data used), as with our existing records.

To learn more about NBN Trust and explore data (including Caledonian Conservation's) go to:


« Back to Blog Home