Well I say quiet it’s all relative I guess?

As most of you know the amount of fieldwork does normally tail off in the autumn, but as a result of having to close down 100 badger setts we were working flat out up until the 30th of November.

Thanks to some excellent, highly experienced field workers everything was completed on time, which considering we were given 10 weeks to do it, is nothing short of a miracle.

There was a large chunk of luck thrown in as well. The weather played ball and the badgers played ball, neither of which happens very often.

The other exciting news since my last blog is the election of Biocensus Chairman, Stephanie Wray to the position of President of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM).

The voting took place in November at the CIEEM conference in Edinburgh, and she’ll take up her post next year, so a huge WELL DONE to her.

I also attended the conference, which was memorable for four things, 1. Steph got elected as El Presidente, 2. A truly wonderful lecture by one of the doyens of the ecological world, Bill Sutherland, who was talking about the need for a better, more scientific evidence base for what we consultant ecologists do (I couldn’t agree more!), 3. Ending up in a Karaoke bar with three lovely people I’d only just met at dinner, and 4. Running up Arthur’s seat the morning after the Karaoke incident. Not a pretty sight (me running that is, Arthur’s seat was beautiful and the singing the night before was truly awful, as usual!).

The final thing of note for the last month or so was my Chartered Ecologist interview. Since the institute secured its royal charter in 2013 they have been inviting people to apply for a new level of membership, that of Chartered Ecologist with the post-nominal of CEcol. The institute decided against a process called “grand parenting” by which people who are members when the royal charter is granted automatically become ‘chartered’, but instead insisted that everyone pass a written submission and an interview. I think this is an excellent decision and even our future president has had to apply. I don’t find out if I’ve been successful until mid-Jan, so fingers crossed.

Having moved to our new office (did I mention the new office?) I have done two incredibly geeky things (“just two Tim?”). The first thing is to start an office bird species list (seen and or heard from the office/garden) which is currently up to 41 species. I’ve had a bet with Rich that we’ll get to 50 before our first year is out. The second thing was to splash out on a new pane of glass for my office window as the old stuff was so warped it completely ruined the view through my binoculars and telescope. I’m not sure the glazers could believe they were taking out a whole unbroken piece of glass and replacing it. I did debate breaking the old one first so I didn’t look too weird but in the end couldn’t be bothered! Of course the debate now is whether this is a business cost or should come out of my wages. Finally, I just wanted to pass on our festive greetings to you all. I hope you all have a good break and get everything you dreamt of from Santa. Biocensus and Durrell are hiring a canal boat for our Christmas party. What could possibly go wrong? I might tell you in the next blog…….or not…

Until next time, Tim