Latest news

GWT and GCER office relocation - update

Black and white picture of King's House, Gloucester

Volunteers and other regular visitors will now be familiar with our temporary accommodation at King's House (pictured above), above The Chambers pub in Gloucester's King's Square.

The change of scene has its advantages: GWT staff have greatly increased our use of public and sustainable transport since the move, due to the proximity of King's House to the main bus and train stations. We also have lots of space and abundant shopping opportunities! But we miss the nice surroundings at Robinswood Hill.

The good news is that work at the Hill is proceeding well, with much of the new structure - including a whole new indoor café area - now built and waiting for final roof fixtures and interior fitting-out. Below is an artist's impression of the planned refurbishment and café extension. artist's impression of the revamped Robinswood Hill Country Park buildings, showing planted area, existing trees and timber-clad buildings

Please keep watching the main GWT website for further news, and for confirmation of our move back to the Hill in Spring 2020.

Season's Greetings and Happy New Year!

Bohemian Waxwing

Season's Greetings and all the best for 2020 from GCER to all our supporters, data users and colleagues! Big thanks to everyone who has contributed to our database and data services - especially our patient volunteers who have weathered some inconvenience as we moved into temporary office accommodation. We aim to move back to Robinswood Hill in May/June. As with the move out, we'll try to keep everyone informed and do our best to keep everything running smoothly.

District Great Crested Newt Licensing - Update

pic of a male Great Crested Newt in breeding colours and crest

After more than a year of consultation, discussion, impact risk assessment and preparation ALL the local planning authorities in Gloucestershire were formally granted Great Crested Newt district licences on 1st August.

Gloucestershire is now part of the 'South Midlands' scheme which includes planning authorities in Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Milton Keynes, South Northamptonshire and Bedfordshire. Developers submitting applications to these authorities can now opt for the District Licensing approach in all but the most sensitive areas. The scheme effectively channels developers' licencing costs into a compensation fund, out of which newt survey and mitigation work is paid for both at the time of the development and into the future as ponds are managed and monitored.

The South Midlands District Licensing scheme is managed by Nature Space Partnership, which includes the South Midlands Newt Conservation Partnership - a not-for-profit group charged with planning and delivering on-the-ground habitat creation, newt monitoring and mitigation work. Local Newt Licensing Project Officers oversee the delivery work. So far the partnership has created dozens of new ponds - including one near to our headquarters at Robinswood Hill. See here for more information about the official inclusion of Gloucestershire in the scheme.

People's Walk for Wildlife, 22nd Sept at Hyde Park, London

pic of wildlife enthusiasts gathering in Hyde Park in the rain, featuring Bud the giant hedgehog

GCER and fellow- GWT Evidence Team staff turned up at a very damp Hyde Park on 22nd September to join a huge march of a very wide range of wildlife supporters of all ages. Organized by Chris Packham, the march fulfilled the aim of bringing together often-disparate groups and individuals who are passionate about protecting wildlife. It was great to meet and talk to people who may have used and contributed to LERC information but whom we rarely encounter from day to day.

As the crowd gathered we watched big screens showing great live interviews with 'Ministers for wildlife', including some really clued-up and inspirational teenagers. Despite the damp the march swelled to over 10,000 according to police estimates, and at 1.00 we made colourful progress through the centre of London, accompanied by birdsong played from people's mobile phones.

At Whitehall opposite the entrance to Downing Street the march halted and we heard more talks, culminating in a rousing appeal from environmentalist George Monbiot. Our tube journey back to the station was shared with many people in owl, hare and fox masks, and we re-joined Bud the giant, foam hedgehog on the train home. Despite the size of the procession there was no BBC website coverage at all, but several national papers reported with good photos. The first, just an hour after the march, was an Independent article which also had a good interview with Chris Packham in which he mentioned the importance of wildlife data.

Gloucestershire Local Nature Partnership

Following the arrival of a new LNP Manager earlier this year (see news item below), a new LNP website - replacing the site formerly named Gloucestershire Biodiversity - has been set up. GCER will be playing a part in providing biodiversity information and website support. In particular we will be working on the development of ecological recovery networks throughout the county, building on earlier LNP involvement with Nature Improvement Areas and Strategic Nature Areas.

The LNP website is still at an early stage but already contains a lot of interesting links and information about the LNP, its partners and projects, and latest news. Click below to explore the site.