Dave Bentley Ecology Services, established in 1991, is an ecological consultancy specialising in wetland ecology.

The consultancy is provided by Dave Bentley who is the most experienced wetland ecologist working in consultancy in North West England. He has been organising nature conservation work in Greater Manchester since 1983.

All wetland survey and evaluation work undertaken by the consultancy is conducted solely by Dave Bentley and thus by hiring Dave Bentley Ecology Services you are guaranteed to have all his skills, experience and knowledge at your disposal (refer to Expertise Page).

If you are an architect, landscape architect, town planner, engineer, developer or builder you will find the following downloadable pdf useful: Dave_Bentley_Ecology_Services_flier.pdf

Our main work (examples of which can be found on the Clients Page), expanded upon below, has two strands:

  • Survey and Evaluation including -

          Survey of habitats and protected species
          Evaluation
          Advice
          Environmental Impact Assessment
          Planning submissions in support of development
          Planning rebuttal in opposition to development
          Planning appeals and Expert Witness
          Local Authority Forward Planning Work
          Independent Appraisals or Second Opinions

IF YOU NEED A GREAT CRESTED NEWT SURVEY DOING IN JULY, AUGUST OR SEPTEMBER CALL US NOW. WE CAN DO IT AND DO IT WELL.

  • Impact Mitigation Schemes and Habitat Work including -

                Practical schemes to reduce impact of developments upon biodiversity and legally protected species
                Habitat creation, habitat manipulation, habitat restoration, habitat management
                Ecological supervisions of development schemes
                Newt fencing provision
                Countryside Access work


  Survey and Evaluation

  •   Habitat description
  •   Habitat mapping e.g. pond plans
  •   Botany, including mosses, and NVC and rare/protected species (e.g. Floating Water-plantain Luronium natans)
  •   Hydrology
  •   Aquatic invertebrates (an identification service is also available from us)
  •   Mud Snails (Omphiscola (Lymnea) glabra)
  •   Crayfish - White-clawed Crayfish and the alien American Signal Crayfish
  •   Lesser Silver Water Beetles (Hydrochara caraboides)
  •   Lancashire Pond Biodiversity Survey
  •   Water Voles, Water Shrews and Otters
  •   Amphibian assemblages
  •   Great Crested Newt single visit surveys
  •   Great Crested Newt surveys in July, August and September by looking for larvae and other habitat indications
  •   Great Crested Newt population studies
  •   Stream kick sampling surveys (BMWP+ and Bullhead fish)
  •   River Corridor Surveys
  •   Waterside birds such as Little Grebe, Reed Bunting and Sedge Warbler
  •   Wide range of related terrestrial surveys as set out below

Our unparalleled experience in amphibian surveys and pond ecology evaluation allows us to complete presence/absence surveys for protected or special pond species - Great Crested Newts, Lesser Silver Water Beetles, Mud Snails and Water Voles - in a single visit by one field worker e.g. at some sites we have located more than 20 clustered Great Crested Newt "new" breeding ponds in a single day. Comparison with others' work has shown our use of our skills and knowledge locates more protected species sites than do expensive multi-method multi-visit approaches where the client pays for adherence to a methodology rather than skill. Ponds which are difficult to survey using torchlight or bottle-traps often fail to reveal the presence of legally protected newts. False negative results can cause extreme delays for construction companies once the error is discovered. Our 100% reliable blanket surveys are used to give rapid answers to urgent questions. N.B. More work is sometimes needed to satisfy planners and Natural England when applying for planning consent or licences, and in this case blanket surveys are often unavoidably accompanied by multi-method multi-visit methodologies. If we feel we have done enough work to know the answers we were seeking through the surveys we were doing for our clients then we do our best to persuade the decision makers to allow us to stop. We do not want to waste our clients money trying to answer a question we have already answered. Repeat visits allow for an estimation of population though add nothing to presence/absence data.

The Lancashire Pond Biodiversity Survey Methodology is required for all ponds which may be directly affected by developments in Lancashire County - it involves a single visit by a single surveyor encompassing habitat description, habitat mapping, botany, hydrology, aquatic invertebrates (including rare and protected species), amphibians including Great Crested Newts, waterside birds and mammals such as Water Voles, Water Shrews and Badger setts in steep pond banks. The methodology is equally useful in any county. Dave Bentley has completed 1168 of such surveys.

In addition a complete Terrestrial Habitat Service is provided as wetlands cannot be considered in isolation from their surroundings:  

  •   Phase 1 and 2 Habitat Surveys and Extended Phase 1 surveys
  •   National Vegetation Classification Surveys
  •   Hedgerow Surveys
  •   Badger Surveys
  •   Reptile Surveys
  •   Invasive Species Surveys   (e.g. Knotweeds, Giant Hogweed, Indian Balsam, New Zealand Pigmyweed, Water-fern, Floating Pennywort, Parrot's-feather, Least Duckweed, Bridewort and alien Dogwoods)

Breeding  Bird,  Bat  and  Terrestrial  Invertebrate  and  other  group  surveys  can  also  be  arranged  using our network of associated specialists.    During our torchlight pond surveys we record Bat species encountered  e.g. Pipistrelles and  Daubentons Bats as a matter of course.


Impact Mitigation Schemes and Habitat Work

A flexible team of freelance fieldworkers supports the work of our consultant ensuring the delivery of a high-class product.  Not only can we  advise on your requirements but can undertake all these works to get the job done well.
  •   Natural England Great Crested Newt development licence schemes
  •   Water Vole mitigation schemes
  •   Habitat Management Plans
  •   Ecological supervision of developments
  •   Staff training and Toolbox Talks
  •   Newt fencing
  •   Pond creation
  •   Pond management in sympathy with existing wildlife
  •   Hibernacula creation
  •   Gullypot grilling
  •   Making sewerage installations etc. amphibian friendly
  •   Grassland and soil translocation
  •   Tree planting
  •   Woodland management and arboreal work
  •   Hedge-laying
  •   Herbicide use
  •   Invasive species control
  •   Dry-stone Walling
  •   Outdoor timber construction - Boardwalks, bridges, staircases, stiles, gates and fences  
  •   Footpaths, cycleways, bridleway work
  •   Rubbish clearance from wildlife sites


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Barracks Lodge in Bury is a Grade A Site of Biological Importance as it is an outstanding example of a millpond wildlife habitat. It supports five species of amphibians including an exceptional population of Great Crested Newts. It is owned by the community and is managed by Dave Bentley, Michael Wellock and Louise Gregory. Louise Gregory also manages a millpond with the legally protected White-clawed Crayfish.



 

       Mud Snail            White-clawed Crayfish            Great Crested Newt                                Mixed fen             Lesser Silver Water Beetle       Great Burnet           

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For a no obligation chat about your requirements call Dave Bentley Ecology Services on 0161 478 6594 or 07598 742566 (sometimes 07944 122292). We are here to help. Emails and attachments especially welcomed at info1@davebentleyecology.co.uk. If you are sending large files please send them to big2@dave...... In the case of over quota bounce-backs try "big2" before the @ symbol. We are a Bury-based ecological consultancy. 33 years experience in nature conservation!!

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Text and images copyright of Dave Bentley 2007 & 2011. Banner panorama photo H Groth-Andersen 2006.

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