TEP is a strong advocate for research and development to progress understanding of our specialisms. Together with National Grid we are supporting a PhD opportunity at UWE, Bristol; focusing research into bat mitigation measures.
Since the industrial revolution many landscapes have been impacted by anthropogenic change, which has profoundly affected ecological communities. Awareness has increased of both the speed and extent of biodiversity loss. This has created a pressing need to incorporate Biodiversity Net Gain into development projects and ensure that all anthropogenic disturbances are sustainable and retain landscape functions. Strategies to mitigate anthropogenic impacts are rarely tested even though they increase costs for the developer and may prove ineffective for wildlife conservation. Monitoring of mitigation and compensation schemes is a vital step to ensure that interventions are effective in promoting sustainable development.
In our role as National Grid Ecology Clerk of Works (ECoW) for the Hinkley Point C Connection Project, we identified an opportunity for further research into bat mitigation measures for large infrastructure projects. This research opportunity is now being driven and part funded by National Grid, who have appointed TEP as industry supervisors for the PhD student.
Since 2009 TEP has accumulated baseline information across the proposed research route, which is targeting the North Somerset and Mendip Bats Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and the Mendip Limestone Grasslands (SAC). The research post will continue to develop this evidence base with the intention of informing future mitigation strategies; to reduce the impacts infrastructure development has on bats and their habitats; and offer cost- and time-effective surveying and monitoring implementations.
This is the second time TEP has been involved in such a scheme and we are keen to support this essential research, which hopefully will help inform the industry standards associated with protecting ecological communities.
For more information about the PhD and how to apply visit: www1.uwe.ac.uk
Applications will close on Monday 21st October 2019.
The expected start date of this studentship is Wednesday 1st January 2020.