Archive of: December, 2016

Outdoor First Aid Training With First Aid Co-operative

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Outdoor First Aid Training With First Aid Co-operative

All of Caledonian Conservation’s crack field ecology survey team have completed Outdoor First Aid (+F) courses this month with First Aid Training Co-operative, to refresh these essential skills.  

Conditions were towards the damp side underfoot in the grassy tussocks near the Mugdock Country Park Visitor Centre for ‘unresponsive casualty’ simulation (and good-to-firm on the car park tarmac for recovery position rolling), and rather chilly at Edinburgh International Climbing Centre (EICA Ratho) but everyone passed all aspects of the course with flying colours. 

We continue to be fully qualified to administer first aid for the next three years and hopefully are more than adequately equipped for the rigours of all year round outdoor survey work which can involve working in remote and exposed areas of Scotland. Health and safety for our team and those around us is our top priority.

The newly issued Team CalCon woolly hats (red edition replacing the previous green ones!) were also found to double up as excellent extremity warmers for anyone unfortunate enough to be put into a ‘clear, draining airway’ position and required to be left on a hill (or in a car park) whilst help is raised.

Our team was trained in two batches, and both Outdoor First Aid (including Emergency First Aid at Work +F) were superb - we would highly recommend the First Aid Training Co-operative based on our experiences!


CIEEM In Practice Articles Available to Download!

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CIEEM In Practice Articles Available to Download!

At Caledonian Conservation we aim to benefit people and wildlife.  To achieve this, we feel it is essential to share our experiences with other professional and academic ecologists to help improve best practice (within legal and commercial restrictions).  This includes presenting articles in the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) In Practice publication, which is distributed to the organisation’s membership.  Director Chris Cathrine has been an author of four articles in this publication, and we are pleased that we are now able to offer these publicly on the Caledonian Conservation Ltd website.  These articles include:

Cathrine, C. 2015. Wood Ant Nest Translocations. In Practice 89, 14-18.

Cathrine, C. and Amphlett, A. 2011. Deadwood: Importance and Management. In Practice 73, 11-15.

Cathrine, C. 2010. Invertebrates and Ecosystem Services: The Oil in the Ecological Machine. In Practice 68, 16-19.

Cathrine, C. and Spray, S. 2009. Bats and onshore wind farms: Site-by-site assessment and post-construction monitoring protocols. In Practice 64, 14-17.

To explore other publications, research posters and conference papers, go to the Caledonian Conservation publications page.

To learn more about the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management, visit their website.


Frozen hairy wood ant nest photo on BBC

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Frozen hairy wood ant nest photo on BBC

We’re very pleased that BBC chose to use a Caledonian Conservation photo of a frosty hairy wood ant (Formica lugubris) nest in a gallery illustrating frozen Scotland:

Wood ant nests are masterworks of eco-architecture and sustainable design, taking maximum advantage of renewable energy and local resources. Wood ant nests are built around a tussock of grass, soil or another feature, which provides a source of heat through decay of vegetation as well as a foundation. Constructed so that the south facing side is larger and flatter to capture solar energy and allow workers to bask, before returning to brood chambers where they act as storage heaters. Finally, the thatched roof made from pine needles, heather and grass provides excellent insulation.

There are four species of wood ants (including close relatives) in Scotland: the hairy wood ant, Scottish wood ant (Formica aquilonia), slave-maker ant (Formica sanguinea) and narrow-headed ant (Formica exsecta). These species have different habitat preferences, and perform a range of important ecosystem services.  Caledonian Conservation has wood ant expertise, and you can read about our nest translocation work for developments and Site Condition Monitoring surveys for Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) on our publications page.  Caledonian Conservation Director Chris Cathrine is also a member of the UK National Wood Ant Steering Group.

To learn more about wood ants in the UK, visit the website of the National Wood Ant Steering Group.

An excellent book on wood ants has also recently been published, and is highly recommended:

Stockan, J.A. and Robinson, E.J.H.  2016.  Wood Ant Ecology and Conservation.  Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.


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