January is a time of flux at Biocensus. The end of the month represents our year end and as a result there’s a fair amount of looking back at our performance over the last year but also at the same time looking forward at workloads in 2015.

This year was, by far our best year in terms of revenue and profit (which was nice), and we’re still well on track with our growth plans.

It was however, also notable for a number of other events. Moving to our perfect canal side office in Bath being one of the highlights. The other day we had 12 people in the office and it really felt like the realisation of a plan hatched in the pub (where else?) between myself and fellow Director Richard Young. Our only issue may be out-growing the space way quicker than we thought!

Talking of Directors I’m delighted to announce the appointment, last week, of Dr Gavin Wilson as our new executive director. Gav will be responsible for the delivery of a range of projects as well as developing and maintaining our quality assurance system and database of free-lance ecologists. We welcome him and hope that the working relationship will be a long and fruitful one. Look out for Gav’s biog on the website.

So far all the signs are that this year is going to be even busier than 2014 (not that I want to jinx it!) so having Gav on board will be essential if we’re going to keep growing at the rate we’ve maintained over the last few years. “Hold on and close your eyes! Scream if you want to go faster!”

I’m spending a good proportion of my time at the moment travelling around the country meeting many of you. I love this part of my job and every now and then I get asked a question I’ve not had before and occasionally it’s a real cracker.

Mark Dodds at Lambert Smith Hampton wins the award for the best question this year. “When was the UK at its most biodiverse?” Brilliant! I have no idea by the way but, one never knows the answers to the best questions. This was asked in the context of the thorny conservation issue of where we are trying to get to in terms of species abundance and distribution? I can feel an opinion piece coming on. Brace yourselves!

When I last wrote I foolishly told you that I had applied for my Chartered Ecologist status and would let you know my fate in this blog. Well thankfully my application was successful and I can now describe myself as a Chartered Ecologist. It’s a bit of a relief as it would have been a tad embarrassing to have to explain to you all that I hadn’t made the grade!

One of my New Year resolutions is to do more bird ringing both on my site and elsewhere. It got off to a flier (?!) last weekend when I was lucky enough to help out on a canon netting session on the Axe Estuary in Devon. We caught 50 birds, mainly shelduck and black tailed godwit. Both species are being colour ringed to help a large international study investigating survival and migration patterns. More of this in 2015 please!!