A number of our staff volunteer in their spare time for local wildlife organisations, such as the Surrey Amphibian and Reptile Group (SARG).
The benefits of undertaking voluntary surveys for wildlife are varied. The ecologists contribute to population statistics for the protected species concerned,
and gain a valuable opportunity to improve their understanding of a particular species, their ecology and behaviour.
Surveys take place at specific locations including heathlands in Surrey to look for rare reptiles, and woodlands to survey for dormice. Members of the
Cardiff team attend events with Cardiff Bat Group and recently attended a known roost count at a local church in the Vale of Glamorgan, and earlier
in the year a known roost count at St Fagan’s National History Museum in Cardiff. One member of the Cardiff team is a trustee for a local conservation
trust ‘Rudry Common Trust’, and she assists with planning and implementing practical conservation and habitat management projects including woodland
management for dormice, the creation of great crested newt ponds, leading volunteer groups, coordinating community wildlife events and completing funding
Volunteering gives ecologists an opportunity to work towards achieving their licences to survey for protected species, benefiting from informal training
by specialists in their fields. A number of ecologists have gained their rare reptile licences this year and continue to undertake voluntary surveys
for local organisations.