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A new approach to mitigation in the UK - Kevin Morgan

South East Regional meeting set to be an interesting outlook on species protection in the UK with the following submission document on the subject of best practice and mitigation 


'On a professional basis I've been involved with the conservation and mitigation of reptiles and amphibians for 23 years, even longer as a naturalist. Initially, mitigation was a case of last minute rescues, minimal budgets and environmental considerations that were very much on the back burner in any planning. Over time legislation became stronger, mitigation more thorough, and ecologists more professional. There was the need to make sure that survey work and mitigation was appropriate with relevant guidelines. However, in my view, and many others, with the current method statement approach surveys and mitigation are becoming even more rigid and risk adverse. It is no longer a question of mitigation guidelines but a rigid dogma, more like rules, restricting any flexibility for the experienced herpetologist.

I used to be proud of my skills and I enjoyed the challenges and strived to get the best outcome, what we call best practice today. I felt I was making a difference for the conservation of reptiles and amphibians whilst changing attitudes for the better. But with the current system such a flexible approach seems to be penalised with more paperwork, considerable delays, and even the rejection of licence applications.

Furthermore, there times when site mitigation is complicated and cannot be resolved in a method statement or by correspondence, times when a site meeting should be considered. After all, as an ecologist and ARG member, I would consider a site visit where issues were complicated before coming to a decision. However, it seems that site meetings in regard to issues with licence applications are not an option.

I addressed these issues at a SE regional IEEM conference a couple of years ago and the urgent need for change. This has not happened, and it is getting worse, further stifling any flexibility to the guidelines. I've become utterly frustrated by it all and feel that my 23 years of skills and experience is wasted and irrelevant, and I can no longer fulfil my role as a naturalist and a professional ecologist and member of IEEM'

Please download Kevin's discussion paper (below) which will probably spark a discussion at the Regional meeting of the ARG UK hosted by Hampshire Amphibian & Reptile Group at Marwell Zoological Park on the 17th November 2012

Mitigation & Best Practice Submission by Kevin Morgan

Kevin Morgan - Surrey ARG member


Kevin Morgan - Deputy Chair of the Surrey Amphibian & Reptile Group

Kevin is a naturalist with considerable experience from Antarctica to the Amazon, and from whale-watching to swimming with dolphins. He is also an ecological consultant, specialising in birds, reptiles and amphibians. He is a well respected speaker and organiser of ecologically sound tourist expeditions.


The Herpetofauna Workers' Meeting 2013 Details released

adder combat

The Herpetofauna Workers' Meeting (#HWM2013) has been established for over 25 years, this unique and popular event occupies the centre stage of the herpetological calendar attracting a broad range of participants from across the UK including:volunteers, professional ecologists, statutory nature conservationists, students & academics.

The programme is gradually being pieced together for next year's meeting which will be at the Edinburgh Conference Centre at Herriot Watt University on the Saturday 26 & Sunday 27 January 2013. Various topics will be discussed through presentations and workshops. Here is a sneak preview:

  • Life on the edge? - Current status of UK adders
  • Turbulent times for tartan natterjacks?
  • Survey and mitigation practices for GCNs
  • The impact of chytrid - in the UK and overseas
  • Reconnecting dragons in Wales
  • The Glasgow living waters project
A special Burns Night Gala Dinner with a raffle to support the ARG UK 100% Grant Fund with the return of the Herpetological Quiz Have I got Newts for You (#HIGNewtsFY).
The meeting programme is being finalised and the booking details are being revised details to be released again soon. 
(NB:Responses from enquiries will be from 5th November!!!) 
Quotes - About and from the Herpetofauna Workers' meeting
"You don't see anything like this anywhere in the World" Trent Garner ZSL
"I have really enjoyed myself...I think what you are doing is really important...keep doing it Do it Louder!" Nick Baker Wildlife TV personality
Everyone is welcome to come along to the meeting and we encourage you to find your local group and/or join up to the BHS or Amphibian & Reptile Conservation to enjoy reduced rates to the meeting
Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further details

Adder Workshop 1