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Back to Latest News 23rd April 2020

Covid-19 Update #3 from Middlemarch Environmental Ltd

As natural environment consultants, our year is governed by the seasons. We are able to anticipate and prepare for predictable fluctuations in demand, building sufficient versatility into our operations and pragmatism into our approach to enable us to cope with, for example, fickle weather events. In the present circumstances however, planning to do anything has become fraught with uncertainty.

Despite the disruption that the Covid-19 pandemic is causing across the business landscape and to normal home life, as we commence the three-week lockdown extension period we are also now entering the busiest time of year for our field staff who continue to carry out essential surveys, assessments and investigations. We are collectively working incredibly hard to support key industrial operations such as utility provision, construction of vital logistics facilities and transport infrastructure projects: we pride ourselves on being able to continue to play our part in enabling all of these areas that crucially underpin our national response to the outbreak.

Of equal importance as we go into the peak survey season, our normally office-based staff have successfully adjusted to providing vital support working from home: project scheduling and resourcing, equipment, transport and logistics management have all had to be modified as have arrangements for provision of desk-based GIS services and an increased workload of risk reviews has had to be accommodated. These functions may be less visible but they are nevertheless critical in enabling our ecologists to operate safely under conditions that develop daily and ultimately in delivering for our clients.

There is indeed a large amount of new information that we must all absorb and quickly act upon. Our field staff are working to new proprietary and mandatory Site Operating Procedures issued by our clients and to our own protocols which are aligned with CIEEM guidance and with Outdoor Businesses Sector guidance on social distancing in the workplace issued by BEIS. Additionally, each of our surveyors carries a copy of a letter to Sally Hayns, Chief Executive Officer of CIEEM from Kevin Woodhouse of DEFRA which provides clarification on how coronavirus guidance relates to ecological and environmental professionals.

At this time, planning ahead is mission-critical. Please contact us at the earliest opportunity if you expect to have a requirement for ecological or arboricultural support in the coming months. Looking further ahead to a time when the Environment Bill completes its passage through the law-making process, we would be happy to discuss options, strategies and solutions to the pending Biodiversity Net Gain requirement at any time.

Image of a Comma butterfly (Polygonia c-album), courtesy of Gareth Owen

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