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East Anglian Planning and Biodiversity Seminar Friday 24th November 2017

Update on key national issues related to biodiversity in Development Management and Spatial Planning Mike Oxford, ALGE Biography Mike has been working in the planning system for over 25 years. He spent 12 years as an ecologist in local government and for the last 16 years has been working as a consultant largely with public sector clients, and during that time he has also been part time project officer for the Association of Local Government Ecologists. He has always had a particular interest in exploring how the planning system can do the best it can in delivering benefits and gains for biodiversity … be they at the landscape scale or very modest improvements with small schemes. Mike also believes that the system can do far better and that we often only scratch the surface compared to the potential gains that could be achieved if all of the parts of the process operated smoothly together. Presentation In this year’s review of what’s happening with biodiversity in the planning system, Mike is going to concentrate on a few related topics. He will start with a summary and explanation of ALGE’s submission to the Raynsford Planning Review. This will then set the scene for a short presentation on what he calls a ‘Black Box Approach’ to how we can use our mistakes to improve what we do when considering ecological issues in the planning system. He may throw in a few surprises along the way and will then finish with an update on proposals to increase the status and use of Ecological Clerks of Works during the construction process.

Michael Oxford Courtesy East Anglian Daily Times


Hopefully, there will be some interaction and plenty of time to ask questions … or to make comments.

Breaking up is hard to do Brexit: the process and what it means for the natural environment Greg Smith, Natural England Biography Greg manages Natural England’s EU Exit team. Based in Colchester, he has held a wide range of roles in Natural England and its predecessor bodies both nationally, as head of sustainable development and planning, and locally, both as area manager for Essex, Herts and London and as policy manager for the East of England region. He began his professional life working as a local authority ecologist in Nottinghamshire. He is a full member of CIEEM. He lists his interests as moths, birds and botany and in his spare time works to inspire people to appreciate wildlife close to where they live. Presentation Greg will provide an overview of key aspects of the Brexit process and what they mean for the natural environment and planning. His short talk will cover: the main environmental implications of Brexit, the Article 50 negotiation, the EU Withdrawal Bill, the Defra EU exit programme and the Secretary of State’s vision of a “green Brexit”. He doesn’t promise answers, but he hopes we’ll come away with a better collective understanding of the issues; and he doesn’t have a big red bus, so he can promise no money either…

District Level Licensing of Great Crested Newt Mitigation Gareth Dalglish, Natural England Biography Gareth Dalglish has been working professionally in nature conservation since 1980, firstly with the RSPB, then Suffolk Wildlife Trust and latterly with Natural England and its predecessor bodies (Nature Conservancy Council & English Nature). He has worked in Area and Regional Teams in Leicestershire, Cumbria and, for the last 18 years, in East Anglia, before joining the national GCN District Level Licensing Programme in May this year as Partnership Manager. Gareth is now leading the work on developing partnerships with local authorities to deliver District Level Licensing. Presentation An introduction to Natural England’s District Level Licensing Programme, which aims to develop Great Crested Newt Conservation Plans in 150 local authority areas, with their implementation funded by developers through a tariff scheme.

Good Practice Principles for Biodiversity Net Gain: What does this mean in practice? Julia Baker, Balfour Beatty Biography Julia has worked on business and biodiversity initiatives for 20 years. She designed Network Rail Infrastructure Projects’ Biodiversity Net Positive procedure, and let a 2-year UK wide pilot of this procedure that involved engagement with a range of stakeholders. Julia was lead author on the UK’s first set of Good Practice Principles for Biodiversity Net Gain, and is currently designing and implementing Net Gain for various developments. Julia is a Technical Advisor for the Institute of Environment and Development, a Visiting Researcher for Oxford University and a member of the Valuing Nature Partnership’s Business Interest Group. Presentation The recently published good practice principles for Biodiversity Net Gain will be presented, with challenges and opportunities for industry, government and the NGO sector to implement these principles and to achieve development with net gains in biodiversity. Also presented will be an update on guidance to support the principles (due for publication early 2018) with insights into key aspects of this guidance.

Buffets for Birds, Homes for Hares: Making Farmland Work for Wildlife and People Samantha Lee, RSPB Biography Samantha Lee has worked for the RSPB for the past three years and currently leads the delivery of farmland conservation work in eastern England including several species-specific projects including for turtle doves, stone curlew and corn bunting. She has worked for conservation NGOs for the past decade in the UK and abroad and has an MSc in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation. Presentation The talk will cover both broad good practice measures that can be put in place providing multi species benefits but also targeted habitat management for more specialist farmland species for which the region is an important stronghold.

Planning for dormice – a landscape scale approach Simone Bullion, Suffolk Wildlife Trust Biography Simone is Senior Conservation Adviser/Consultancy Manager at Suffolk Wildlife Trust and as well as being a mammal specialist, is an expert on the ecology of the hazel dormouse. She has been studying this species for the last 20 years, undertaking extensive survey work and is currently involved in the use of footprint tunnels as an additional tool for detection. Presentation Hazel dormice are under-recorded in the East of England and can be difficult to detect. Simone will review the various factors which should be taken into consideration when assessing the likelihood of this European Protected Species being present in the landscape.

Creating a Mitigation Strategy for Recreational Disturbance and Avoidance – Lessons Learned Natasha Moreno-Roberts BSc, MA, PIEMA, AssocRTPI Senior Planning Policy Officer, Ipswich Borough Council Clare Dawson, Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils Alison Collins, Natural England Biographies Natasha Moreno-Roberts graduated with a BSc in Environmental Science Natasha Moreno-Roberts and also has an MA in International Relations and Development Studies. She has lived and worked in various locations in the UK and overseas, including 2 years living in Venezuela. Natasha has worked in consultancy for most of her career, advising clients on strategic environmental management and sustainability and now works as a town planner at Ipswich Borough Council. Natasha works in the Planning Policy team, focussing on the Local Plan, Sustainability Appraisal and policy work relating to transport, air quality, biodiversity and health. Clare Dawson

Alison Collins (Natural England) is a Lead Adviser in sustainable development with Natural England’s Norfolk and Suffolk Area Team. Alison works mainly on major developments affecting the protected landscapes and designated sites of the coastal areas of Norfolk and Suffolk.

Alison Collins

Presentation Ipswich Borough Council, Babergh District Council and Suffolk Coastal District Councils have been working together, with support from Natural England, to establish this RAMS strategy since 2015. The presentation discusses the work undertaken to date, the timetable going forwards and outlines the lessons that the project team has learnt along the way.

Nature-based Solutions in the Urban Realm from green roofs to rain gardens Dusty Gedge, President of European Federation of Green Roof Associations Biography Dusty is a green infrastructure consultant working in London, UK and Europe. He is the current President of the European Federation of Green Roof Associations (EFB) and founder of, and is an active member of the EU GI and Ecosystem Services working group. Biodiversity and birds on green roofs drew him into this work 20 years ago. Nature is at the heart of his approach to green infrastructure, although he quite naturally can deal all the issues that cities face and how vegetation can help adapt cities to climate change. Dusty Gedge is a recognised authority, designer, consultant and public speaker on green roofs and urban green infrastructure. He has worked on GI Projects in the UK for the last 17 years. Some of these are recognised as seminal projects, especially in London, as well as advising virtually on projects across the world through his consultancy firm Green Infrastructure Consultancy [GIC]. Dusty has also been a TV presenter on several UK shows and has recently started a podcast series – Adventures in Green Infrastructure. He is also active on social media: Twitter, Facebook and G+. Presentation Nature-based solutions are, and will become, an increasingly important element in the design of cities and towns. However, will they deliver meaningful benefit to biodiversity? All too often they are designed to meet engineering or aesthetic considerations with only passing regard to real ‘nature’. With over 20 years of experience of designing green roofs, walls and rain gardens, Dusty will discuss how we can provide a range of benefits within green infrastructure by focusing in the first instance on nature itself. In doing so we can transform the urban realm for both wildlife and people.

Seminar biographies and summaries 2017  
Seminar biographies and summaries 2017