Baker Consultants

Baker Consultants’ Invertebrate Specialists are Preparing for 2023’s Survey Season

Following on from a busy summer, our invertebrate specialist, Dave Goddard, and Ecologist Jed Weaver are preparing for the invertebrate surveys we have in the pipeline for 2023.

Over the winter, as well as reporting on summer surveys and planning the next batch, Dave has hosted a number of internal CPD sessions on how to identify certain species groups and the basics of how to ‘key’ them. There is a corner of the office with example bugs and a microscope, and Jed especially can sometimes be found poring over an ID guidebook squinting at flies and bees. Just as important as knowing what creature you’re looking at is understanding their habitats and how changing climate may be affecting the likelihood of discovering certain species in certain places, so this desk based CPD will be coupled with a field session in the spring.

Jed commented “Before joining Baker Consultants, I have spent a good amount of time surveying for and identifying terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates associated with chalk streams, and didn’t expect this to be something I would continue doing here until Dave joined us in 2021. I’m enjoying improving my skills in regards to invertebrates, and whilst the more traditionally beautiful butterflies and dragonflies are lovely to see during surveys, it is important that the often forgotten bees, flies and beetles are factored into assessing habitat quality, and the suitability of such habitats for these generally overlooked species. We’re very lucky to have someone as experienced and passionate as Dave on the team to learn from and ensure our survey techniques are up to scratch.”

Dave is a great asset to the team, and has a vast amount of knowledge regarding invertebrates which he is sharing with the team on a daily basis, helping us to expand our services and expertise. Professional freelance colleagues of Dragonfly Dave are already reporting that they are getting booked up for the 2023 survey season, so if you haven’t already done so, do get in touch to scope what might be required on your site.

Depending upon the invertebrate species concerned, they can be found under either European and/or National legislation such as the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 (as amended) and the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) or as Species of Importance e.g. as listed on section 41 of the NERC 2006 Act. There are also some non-statutory designations which can be important, such as the IUCN red list and Natural England’s own Invertebrate Status Review. Add to this, there is also a well-established catalogue for the nationally rare and nationally scarce invertebrates species in the UK.

The Natural England invertebrate survey guidelines currently state that there should be a minimum of four surveys spread evenly throughout a year from April to September depending upon the weather conditions. The invertebrates surveyed for will depend upon the habitats present within a site but would typically cover ground dwelling species such as beetles, millipedes, centipedes, woodlice, ants and then the herb layer which could include bees, wasps, craneflies, hoverflies and finally the shrub and tree layer which might include butterflies, moths, bugs, beetles and flies.

 The Baker Consultants team is highly experienced and we are passionate about what we do. If you need advice related to ecology, surveys or conservation, then please get in touch with us via our contact form on the website, or you can call us on +44 (0)1629 593958 or email us on