Warwickshire’s ecologists win national honour

Warwickshire County Council has won the prestigious Planning Authority of the Year title at the national Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) awards 2019.

CIEEM is the leading professional membership body representing and supporting ecologists and environmental managers in the UK and abroad. The awards are a chance to celebrate the outstanding work produced by ecologists and environmentalists across the UK and Ireland.

The ecological services team comprises dynamic ecologists who have been recognised regionally and nationally for their forward thinking, transparency with ecological advice and understanding of processes that aim to deliver better biodiversity levels locally and nationally.

The team undertakes a range of roles which vary from advice to county and local authorities, ecological surveys, public queries regarding wildlife issues and species identification, managing the Warwickshire Biological Records Centre to larger scale projects alongside major developments such as being the UK lead and innovator in spatial ecology, providing options to see environmental findings through an online mapping portal.

The team is well-respected regionally, with strong connections to Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, and nationally by statutory bodies like Natural England. This award recognises the huge achievements made by the team on a national scale, including developing a tool with DEFRA which measures biodiversity loss or gain on development sites. The tool is now used throughout the country to deliver biodiversity enhancements as well as providing a compensation cost for biodiversity loss.

Councillor Heather Timms, Portfolio Holder for Environment and Heritage and Culture, said:

“The county council prides itself as being the forefront of ecological thinking, finding new and innovative ways to lead on environmental policies.

‘Warwickshire is an increasingly attractive place to live, with its strong economy and pleasant towns and villages, so we do need to look at developments. But this must not be done at the expense of our local environment. Our ecologists ensure that our growth is balanced alongside a sensible and responsible approach to the county’s biodiversity.

‘The team works extremely hard to provide succinct, pragmatic and approachable ecological and environmental advice for wider local authorities and nationwide partners. Their commitment to seeking out innovative ways of improving our environment in Warwickshire and further afield deserves to be recognised and I’m incredibly pleased the CIEEM agrees.’

To find out more about the awards, please click here