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the GiGLer

The newsletter of Greenspace Information of Greater London CIC


Welcome to the second edition of the GiGLer. This time we focus on protected species and on some of the organisations that generate and need access to protected species data in London. Since July last year, we have seen a significant growth in our data holdings, with more recorders and organisations signing up to the…

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Overground Underground

The London Underground network may not be the first place to spring to mind when you think of good wildlife habitat. But large parts of the outer reaches of the network run above ground and adjacent to a variety of trackside habitats. A recent report has confirmed that the Underground network is home to a wealth of wildlife. Badgers, water voles and grass snakes are just a few of the protected species to be found.

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Guiding the planners – London’s protected species

Bats, great crested newts, common dormice and badgers are well known to be highly protected species. But did you know that the hedgehog fungus, depressed river mussel and click beetle, amongst many other species, must also be taken into account if they are found on a development site? Protected species are a material consideration in planning, and planning officers and developers often need a little guidance in adhering to this aspect of planning law.

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The view from here

Like all borough biodiversity officers, I require access to reliable species information for many aspects of my work including strategic and development planning. A variety of people will expect me to be able to tell them what lives where in the borough, the moment that I pick up the phone to them. Yet many biodiversity officers inherit what information we have in various forms – paper notes, spreadsheets etc – from a variety of sources. These can be hard to collate at short notice. Equally, our records are often incomplete.

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Tales from the riverbank

The water vole is a UK priority species for biodiversity conservation. Its presence on a site is a material consideration in planning applications, and under the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981) it is an offence to damage burrows and nests, or to disturb water voles while they are in their burrows. The water vole is also protected from persecution and unnecessary suffering under the Wild Mammals (Protection) Act (1996). A review is currently underway which will hopefully lead to the water vole being given full protection – making it an offence to take, possess or intentionally kill a water vole.

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GiGL News

GiGL’s data expansion GiGL’s species database has increased by an incredible 184,000 records since the first edition of the GiGLer in July last year. The sources of these data include London boroughs, London Natural History Society recorders, consultants, the Zoological Society of London, and the Greater London Authority. By collaborating with the Natural History Museum…

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