Working with Wildlife - new free to download app

John Newton, Founder of and Strategic Advisor for The Ecology Consultancy

I’ve always believed that one of the responsibilities of an ecologist is to ensure that we assist others to understand what we are trying to accomplish and why. I have worked as a nature reserve warden, conservation director for a Wildlife Trust, for a property company and latterly as the founder and Managing Director (currently Strategic Adviser) of The Ecology Consultancy. Along that career path I met many people to whom nature conservation and ecology really didn’t figure in their day to day lives but, suddenly, they found themselves in a situation where they had to engage with these issues. My job was to help them to understand what potential impacts this could mean for them, what they might have to do next and why it mattered.

The idea of producing an app, in partnership with CIRIA, that would be free to download came about to enable the Working with Wildlife CIRIA guide (C691) to be more widely available across the construction sector.

The content of the app focuses on eight protected species or groups of species and provides details on their ecology, legal constraints, survey methods and mitigation measures. The mobile app format enables and so it can be used out on site whenever   accessibility will see it as a useful tool for not only construction professionals but planners and ecologists too.

What does the app offer?

The Working with Wildlife App offers practical advice on how to manage a range of protected species

commonly encountered on construction sites, including: badgers, bats, breeding birds, dormice, great crested newts, otters, reptiles and water voles.

To inform this, the app provides information and advice on:

  • How to recognise each species and their habitats (accompanied by a photo gallery)
  • How to detect signs of their presence on site
  • Their natural history
  • Why and how they are protected
  • Which surveys may need to be carried out and when (including a survey season calendar)
  • What actions need to be taken on site

As guidance and legislation changes the app will be updated and revised centrally to ensure it continually provides up-to-date information about protected species, for this there will be a reliance on feedback so we do encourage users to get in touch and tell us about how it can be improved.

Download the App
The app is now available for free download on Apple devices in the App Store and from the Google Play Store by searching for “Working with Wildlife”.