Today is my last day at Footprint Ecology.
I’ve had a very interesting 18 months here, working on a number of management plans, a variety of Habitat Regulations Assessments, the protection of Lodge Hill and Rampisham Down, researching and writing a book about nature and people in churchyards; and running a large vegetation survey of Vegetated Coastal Shingle in and around the Solent.
It’s in the nature of most of these contracts that they fall into the “grey” literature, so I can’t show you what I’ve done, which is a pity. Some are obviously confidential, but others, such as the Solent work for Natural England, really ought to be in the public domain, but aren’t. Having said that, after we had done a comprehensive survey of the shingle plants, most of them – and the shingle – was washed away in last winter’s storms. The one that will see the light of day soon is the book “The Nature of God’s Acre”, more on this soon.
Footprint are an excellent small consultancy specialising in the ecological impacts of visitors (and their dogs) to nature sites; and Habitat Regulations Assessments. In both these areas they are leading experts in the UK. They also do more typical consultancy work like management plans. They do not do any commercial work for developers, and this makes them highly unusual.
In 2015 I am starting a new project, something I have been thinking about for quite a few years now. It will focus on the importance of nature to people, the way people need nature for spiritual health, for inspiration, for contemplation, even solace. I hope it will act as a counterbalance to the “Natural Capitalism” approach that is gaining ascendancy, particularly through things like Biodiversity Offsetting. It will also work to highlight how important public land is for nature (and other values), and how political actions and policies can help, or hinder, nature protection.
If you are interested in working with me on this new endeavour, please let me know.