Spring 2017 Newsletter
The new PBA Newsletter containing industry and company news is available for download.
Please click on the image to download.
Naomi joins the PBA team
In September, we were delighted to welcome Dr Naomi Dalton to the PBA team. Naomi joined us following a year of travelling, which included volunteering at a research station in the Peruvian Amazon, travelling across the Andes into Patagonia, and finally volunteering with the RSPB in a wild and remote part of Scotland. Naomi brings excellent botanical skills to complement our team.
PBA is recruiting for an Ecologist
We are looking for a self-motivated full-time project ecologist to join
our team, permanently based at our office in Settle. The successful candidate
will be integral to the delivery of high-quality ecological projects for a
range of clients.
A job description and application form can be downloaded here
The deadline for applications is Friday 2nd September.
Our latest newsletter, featuring industry news and company updates, has been published.
Click on the image below to take you to the download.
We are pleased to announce that as of the 11th December we are compliant and registered with the Contractors Health & Safety Assessment Scheme (CHAS). This is a further reassurance to our clients that we give health and safety the highest priority in all that we do.
Bear Grylls: Britain's Biggest Adventures
We’re looking forward to the next episode of this new series which was filmed in the Yorkshire Dales. Watch out for our very own Paul Bradley, along with some white-clawed crayfish! britains-biggest-adventures-bear-grylls
Alex joins our team
Alex Moffatt joined us in September for a year’s industrial placement as part of her degree course at Leeds University. As well as spending time on her own project work she will be working with our team.
Fifth Anniversary for PBA’s Settle Office
On the 20th August we celebrated five years since opening our office in Settle. A chance to look back at how the team has grown both in number and experience, and how much work has been achieved.
2015 Crayfish Conference a success
Organised jointly by the Environment Agency and the Applied Ecology Trust, the conference held at Giggleswick School over 17th – 19th August brought together over 90 researchers, practitioners, regulators, conservationists, and crayfish trappers. The aim was to help inform a more evidence-based approach to issues around indigenous and invasive non-native crayfish species across the British Isles. With informative visits to nearby excursion sites, and with most participants accommodated on site and able to enjoy evenings in the comfortable bar, there was also the opportunity for the sharing of ideas outside of the formal presentations in the theatre. The organising team is currently investigating options for publishing the proceedings.
Investors in People
We are proud to have been recognised as a company that invests in its staff, with the Investors in People award. All our team took part in the assessment in early July.
New member of staff
We welcomed Sam Laycock to our project team in June and look forward to him working with us over the next year before going on to University. He has already completed his ROLO Health and Safety course and the Water Safety training.
Water Safety Training
Our project teams spent two days training with WaterSafe UK. Much of our work takes place in and around rivers and other water bodies and this vital training enables our staff to work safely.
Supporting Settle Cricket Club
Match sponsor on 20th June –we are hoping the sun shines for a lovely day at Settle Cricket Club!
Crayfish Conference 2015
Planning for the conference is well underway. The keynote speakers will include Julian Reynolds, David Holdich, Trevor Renals and Alison Dunn. For more details about the first national conference in 6 years click here.
CIEEM Training Courses
Places are booking up on the CIEEM courses that Paul Bradley is running this summer.
16th July: Introduction to White-clawed crayfish, field techniques and licensing
22nd – 24th July and 2nd – 4th September: Working with Crayfish: survey, ecology & mitigation
We are pleased to been awarded ISO9001 accreditation, with our assessment through The British Assessment Bureau. Our next target is to gain the Investors in People award.
Regen 2015,the UK Regeneration Exhibition and Conference
We look forward to seeing you at Regen 2015! Paul Bradley and other team members will be on our stand in the exhibition hall, at St George’s Hall, Liverpool on Tuesday 24th and Wednesday 25th March - so please do come and meet us. Regen2015
To demonstrate our commitment to providing a trusted quality service, we are working towards ISO9001 accreditation. Our systems are being assessed and we anticipate gaining the award before the end of March 2015.
Over 2 wet days in early January, we worked with the BBC Winterwatch team, Environment Agency and The Angling Trust to film a piece looking at the impacts that signal crayfish have on a stream and reinforcing the importance of the ‘Check – Clean – Dry’ message.
The programme can be viewed until the 20th February (the item starts at around 28 mins) Winterwatch
Bats and Breathable Roofing Membranes
Stacey Waring, a research engineer co-supervised by the Technologies for the Sustainable Built Environment Centre (TSBE) at the University of Reading and the Bat Conservation Trust, gave our staff an informative presentation of her research into the breathable roofing membranes and the effects on bats. It was disturbing to see how bats can become entangled, causing death.
Find out more at Bats and BRMs
We are currently working with the producers of a high profile ITV programme, with filming to take place in the Yorkshire Dales this October. It will be shown next spring – we will share more details when we can!
Dr Allan Pentecost, one of our key partners, led an informative course at Malham Tarn on the science of lakes (limnology). This allowed our staff to revise their knowledge and will enable us to work with more insight on projects in the future. More about the course
Crayfish Training Courses
We have been busy this month delivering training courses for EA staff and for CIEEM members. Four courses have taken place, and we have travelled to furthest Dorset! The September CIEEM ‘Working with Crayfish’ Course at Malham Tarn Field Centre still has a few places left.
Our staff undertook training and now have their EUSR Water Hygiene cards. This means that we are able to carry out work around water treatment works. Many thanks to J N Bentley Ltd. for putting on the course.
White-clawed crayfish on the move
At the start of the month we worked with the Environment Agency to move crayfish from a water course prior to repairs to a weir near Scarborough. Read EA Article Read BBC News Article
Supporting UCL student projects
PBA again supported and supervised 2 students from the UCL Aquatic Science MSc course as they carried out their projects at Malham Tarn, investigating the population of bullhead and otters. More about the course
New PBA Project Ecologist
Congratulations to Ben Shepherd who has completed his degree at Northumberland University and joins our team as a project ecologist. Ben first spent a week with us for school work experience, and has worked with us over the summer holidays during his university career.
Bats and Buildings in the Yorkshire Dales
PBA invited architects, builders and landowners to a lunchtime seminar to discuss recent National Park planning policy developments and issues of bats and buildings in the Yorkshire Dales. Key partner Gail Armstrong answered questions and discussed how bats can best be accommodated in new developments – and brought bats with her!
Water Safety Training
A significant amount of our work takes place around and in water bodies. As part of our annual training provision, all our project team staff had an intensive but enjoyable 2 day course practicing skills in still and flowing water situations. All achieved ‘Basic Water Rescuer’ certificates issued through Rescue3.
New Buildings Can Accommodate Wildlife
Many old houses accommodate a lot of wildlife – new builds can too! This new build in the Yorkshire Dales supports biodiversity and offers positive benefits to the area’s wildlife with bat roosts, house martin nests, swift nests and an owl box discreetly incorporated into the roof space and walls. Read Article
Research Project with Lancaster University
We are excited to be working with Prof Phil Barker and research student Megan Webb, testing the application of stable isotope techniques in bio-monitoring at sites suffering from diffuse pollution.
Otter Cub Rescue
Following a call from a local landowner, we were able to rescue a lost otter cub and get it safely to a member of staff at the New Forest Wildlife Park where she is being looked after. Given the name Flick, it is hoped that she will be released back into her home area when she is able.
Crayfish Training Courses for CIEEM
PBA are again running courses for CIEEM this summer, led by Paul Bradley.
Introduction to White-Clawed Crayfish: High Borrans Field Centre, Windermere: 17 July
Working with Crayfish: Malham Tarn Field Centre, Settle: 25 - 27 July
Working with Crayfish: Malham Tarn Field Centre, Settle: 3 – 5 September
In collaboration with PBA key partner Martyn Kelly, we are supporting a research intern for a month. Ishbel Campbell will be analysing diatom assemblage and water quality data at points through the Semer Water catchment.
Ark site for native crayfish
Following on from the BBC Countryfile programme, PBA staff were interviewed for an article in our local paper, The Craven Herald, about the successful breeding of White-clawed crayfish and release into a carefully selected stream. Paul says “We’re completely confident that it has the water quality that this species requires, and it’s protected from this disease by a very large waterfall. We call it the Ark site – because it’s like Noah’s Ark.” Full Article
PBA Features on BBC Countryfile
BBC Countryfile featured the Yorkshire Dales this Sunday. The last item on the programme featured the first ever release of captive bred native white-clawed crayfish into the wild in the Yorkshire Dales. The specially selected stream has excellent water quality (as demonstrated by the variety and abundance of macro-invertebrate life) and being above a natural barrier, the site should be safe from non-native crayfish such as the signal crayfish which carry crayfish plague as well as out-competing them. PBA have been involved with this project, working with the Environment Agency, over a number of years and have learned a great deal about the requirements needed for successful captive breeding of white-clawed crayfish.
Catch up with the programme which can be watched for the next 6 days:
(21 Oct 2013)
Filming with BBC Countryfile
We spent a day filming with BBC Countryfile, along with the Environment Agency, around the Settle area in early October with John Craven. The feature follows up an item filmed in 2010 and looks at the successful captive breeding of white-clawed crayfish. The programme will be shown on 20th October.
Field Course Teaching for UCL
Paul was pleased to spend a day teaching ‘surveying for crayfish’ to Masters students from UCL on their field course in Norfolk led by Dr Carl Sayer in early October.
Invasive non-native Crayfish Training Course, 19th September
Invasive non-native crayfish are becoming an increasing dominant component of freshwater systems throughout southern Britain. This CIEEM course delivered by Paul Bradley and Adam Ellis provides a fantastic opportunity to see most of the crayfish species that now occur in the wild in Britain.
With special permission from the Environment Agency, the course aims to show participants live American Signal Crayfish, Narrow-clawed (Turkish) Crayfish, Red Swamp Crayfish, Virile Crayfish, and native White-clawed Crayfish. An introduction to all other non-native species that have been recorded, or might be illegally introduced to Britain will be given along with a description of the invasion ecology of each species.
The economic and ecological impacts of invasive crayfish are becoming increasingly apparent. This workshop will also provide an introduction to dealing with invasive species and conserving the region’s natives.
To book your place: http://www.cieem.net/training-events
Fish Rescue & translocation
In the last week our team have successfully conducted a fish rescue and translocation at a reservoir in North Yorkshire that is being discontinued. Very muddy but satisfying work with over 100 brown trout recorded and moved.
Working with Crayfish CIEEM Course
“Fantastic course that has provided me with a good level of confidence to work towards my licence”.
The ‘Working with Crayfish’ course led by Paul Bradley for CIEEM that took place last weekend was very successful giving participants hands-on experience of different survey methods and of handling both White-clawed and Signal crayfish at different sites. The low river flows were helpful too!
The course will be run again at Malham Tarn Field Centre from 2nd – 4th September and there are still places available. (July 2013)
Long term vegetation monitoring project
PBA staff joined Natural England and the National Trust to assist with long term vegetation monitoring at Malham Tarn. This included surveying 50 quadrats over 3 days in varying habitats with the most species rich quadrat containing 50 species! The LTMN programme includes selected sites around the country and will survey the same points every 4 years. This will provide a baseline against which the future state of the environment can be assessed.http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/ourwork/research/register/ltmn.aspx
Our staff enjoyed being out at a wonderful location in beautiful sunshine and increased their vegetation ID skills significantly. Jack, from Ermysteds Grammar School Sixth Form, joined us – he picked a great week for some work experience! (July 2013)
Crayfish Training Courses for CIEEM
PBA are running four courses for CIEEM this summer, led by Paul Bradley. The ‘Working with Crayfish’ Course at Malham Tarn in July is fully booked, but there are still places available on the other events. (June 2013)
Introduction to White-Clawed Crayfish: High Borrans Field Centre, Windermere: 18 July
Working with Crayfish: Malham Tarn Field Centre, Settle : 19 - 21 July
Working with Crayfish: Malham Tarn Field Centre, Settle: 2 – 4 September
Crayfish in Britain: RSPB Rye Meads, Herts: 19 September
Bat mitigation project
PBA staff have recently completed a project at a large historic stables building in North Yorkshire that is being developed. The site hosts a large number of bats, with at least four species using the building.
Under licence from Natural England, and led by our key partner John Drewett, the project team safely rescued the small numbers of bats still present over the winter. The team also provided three purpose-built bat lofts. With the works complete and the loft sealed, the developer can now focus on conserving and redeveloping this fine old building, for the benefit of people, bats and business. (May 2013)
Invasive Non-native Crayfish in Britain
PBA staff member Andrew Blincow presented at the INNS Yorkshire Invasive Species Forum on 24th April. This was a brilliant opportunity to find out what measures are being taken to combat invasive non-native species across the county. We hope this is the first of a series of useful annual seminars.
We are pleased to share the presentation with you - please send us a message if you would like a copy. (April 2013)
Peatlands Education Project
Just completed the first phase of an innovative education project; developing teaching resources for peatlands. We would be interested to hear from peatland restoration companies that might be interested in participating in the next phase of this work, and being associated with peatland educational resources. (April 2013)
Water Environment: The Legal Framework
Our staff our now up to date with the law regulating inland water resources in England and Wales following training on an IEEM course, ‘Water Environment: The Legal Framework’ held in March.
With a deeper understanding of the water regulation framework, we are now in an even better position to be able to assess and identify the regulatory consents needed to deliver any proposed water related project. (Mar 2013)
White-clawed Crayfish Rescue
PBA worked with the Environment Agency to rescue threatened white-clawed crayfish from Porter Brook in Sheffield and translocate them to an identified ark site. PBA staff planned the rescue, applied to Natural England for the necessary consents, and were fully involved with the rescue and translocation. Read more here. (Feb 2013)
Are our Malham Tarn crayfish on the verge of success?
A female white-clawed crayfish on public display in the PBA maintained aquarium at FSC Malham Tarn Field Centre has maintained fertile eggs through the winter. Will we see a full reproductive cycle this year, for the first time ever? (Feb 2013)
The value of woodland ponds to Great Crested Newts is often underestimated. This recent article from the Woodland Trust in Biodiversitynews explains:Read Article (Mar 2013)
Advice to wash after visiting woodlands to help stop the spread of ash dieback
UK environment secretary has urged the public to wash their dogs and boots and even their children after visiting wooded areas, to help stop the spread of a fungus which is killing ash trees. Read more here.
Read our latest newsletterhere
Kendal Auction Mart (2013)
The new mart at the M6 - A65 junction is now open and trading following 18 months of intense activity on this greenfield site. We are delighted to have been involved with such a successful project that has involved environmental and ecological monitoring and the creation of extensive new wetland habitat.
New Senior Ecologist
Congratulations to Neil Wilkinson on his promotion to Senior Ecologist.
New Project Ecologist
Congratulations to Andrew Blincow who recently joined us as a Project Ecologist.
PBA formalise partnership with Civil Engineering Solutions (CES)
Following a successful meeting PBA will now work with CES to offer Hydrological services
Paul Bradley Co-authors IEEM white-clawed crayfish competencies for species survey
Click to view