CIRIA, in conjunction with The Ecology Consultancy’s founder John Newton, have launched a mobile application to provide those working in construction and the built environment with easy access to guidance on legislation and good practice to consider when working with wildlife on site.
Based on the ‘Working With Wildlife: Guidance for the construction industry’ written by leading experts from the Ecology Consultancy and originally published by CIRIA in 2011, the two organisations have worked together to gather the key information from the guide into a compact, user-friendly mobile application that can be downloaded to your device.
What is the app for?
The clue is in the name, the Working With Wildlife app offers construction and development professionals guidance on why, when and how to consider wildlife in their work.
Indeed, most proposed development sites – whether they are rural, urban or suburban, and whether they have been designated for their wildlife importance – have some degree of wildlife interest. In general, wherever there is any presence of wildlife on a site, this should at least be acknowledged, with UK legislation dictating that potential adverse impacts on it should be addressed in the right way.
By compiling this guidance in a mobile app, CIRIA and The Ecology Consultancy are providing construction professionals with all the necessary information to hand while on site, equipping them with the tools they need to make the right decisions and know when to call in an ecologist. This format also enables content to be updated to align with guidance and legislation changes, and ensure it provides the most up-to-date information about protected species, with users also encouraged to provide feedback to help the continual improvement of the app.
Who is the app for?
From planning through to build, wildlife issues should be considered throughout all stages of a development. The application is a tool that will be beneficial to a wide range of construction professionals, including not only developers and contractors, but planners and architects too – and its mobile format makes it simple for organisations to distribute it around their staff and easily adopt its use company-wide. Ecologists and those in environmental consultancy will of course also benefit from the portability of this key guidance in relation to protected species.
What does the app offer?
The Working With Wildlife app offers practical advice on how to manage eight protected species and groups of species commonly encountered on construction sites – badger, bats, breeding birds, dormouse, great crested newt, otters, reptiles and water vole.
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
The app also contains background on the fundamentals of ecology, an overview of the legislation surrounding protected species, a glossary of key ecological terms, as well as references and further reading.
Where can I get the app?
The Working With Wildlife is available for free on Android and iOS.