WILLIAM R. C. WATSON
ROSE COTTAGE ~ DOCKLOW MANOR
DOCKLOW ~ HEREFORDSHIRE ~ HR6 0RX
Tel: (01568) 760 500 ~ Fax: (01568) 760 687
I am a consultant ecologist with 20 years professional experience; I am an expert field surveyor and have carried out surveys for all common British herpetofauna. I have proven skill in producing a range of management-based reports. Much of my work has been geared towards amphibian conservation with particular emphasis on the specially protected Great Crested Newt. I have managed amphibian and pond projects within both Worcestershire and Herefordshire. Prior to becoming freelance, over a five-year period, I worked on conservation projects for Worcestershire County Council, Worcestershire Nature Conservation Trust and the Nature Conservancy Council. I am a Member of the Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management and member of the Freshwater Biological Society and the Balfour-Browne Club. Particular area of expertise is Wetland Ecology.
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE +
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE -
1988 – present Ecological Consultant – self-employed.
The extensive range of ecological and environmental work I have undertaken independently includes:
- Amphibian surveys following standard format over 1,000 ponds in the UK ~ using dip nets, pitfall traps, torching and bottle trapping techniques under licence; species mitigation; ecological report writing; impact assessment; management plans.
- I have developed and modified standard amphibian and pond survey methods for local and generic use.
- Terrestrial and aquatic translocation of Great Crested Newts under EPS licence from Natural England and post translocation monitoring.
- Amphibian and pond management projects (see overleaf+).
- Carried out wetland habitat surveys for macrophytes and invertebrates, as well as amphibians on 150 sites within England incorporating pond management plans.
- Wetlands habitat surveys using National Vegetation Classification.
- Surveying and monitoring of aquatic invertebrates.
- Supervised the restoration of at least 35 ponds requiring a range of management tasks including: mechanical de-silting; manual de-silting; shade reduction and macrophyte planting.
- Botanical surveys in 24 counties in the United Kingdom, incorporating all main habitat types.
- Woodland habitat surveys using National Vegetation Classification.
- Previously registered as an ecological surveyor for the Forestry Commission’s Native Woodland Plans in both England and Wales. This involved conducting surveys of ancient semi-natural woodlands and writing ecological plans.
- Ecological Advisor to the Marches Woodland Initiative conducting Level II surveys of woodlands in Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire.
- Grassland habitat surveys using National Vegetation Classification.
OTHER ECOLOGICAL WORK
- I have carried out many bat surveys. I now assist licensed personnel during bat activity surveys.
- Otter, Water Vole and Dormouse surveys.
- Ran a research project surveying and monitoring badger territories and populations, involving the use of colour coded bait markers.
- Surveyed for and monitored birds and butterflies.
- Production of site-specific management plans following the Ratcliffe criteria.
- Nearly 600 separate contracts have been carried out for 40 different clients.
- Surveyed farm habitats and written management plans for the Countryside Stewardship Scheme.
- I have organised and led more than 25 pond and Great Crested Newt Training Courses for the BTCV; Environment Agency; Herefordshire Ponds and Newts Project; National Trust and various Wildlife Trusts; as well as local authorities within the region and independent consultancy companies. I have also delivered pond management training for Pershore Group of Colleges.
MAJOR PROJECTS +
MAJOR PROJECTS -
April 2007 ~ 2008 Project Consultant ~ Ponds and Newts Celebration & Restoration Project
I developed and implemented a restoration management plan for five Herefordshire ponds, following professional standards of surveys and requirement assessment, including local community wishes.
I supported the Project Coordinator by attending consultation meetings for each pond to support community involvement and ownership of the restoration and worked with the Project Coordinator to ensure all statutory approvals had been obtained, as well as owner’s support.
I also provided five training courses on species identification and pond management techniques.
Sep 2003 – 2006 Project Consultant – Herefordshire Ponds and Newts Project (HPNP)
HPNP proved to be a highly successful and innovative project. Managed by Herefordshire Amphibian & Reptile Team (HART) it received funding totalling £82,000 from the European Union LEADER+ Programme and DEFRA. 286 of Herefordshire’s ponds within an 880 square kilometre area were surveyed for biological quality and the presence of reptiles and amphibians, and in particular the Great Crested Newt. One hundred new Great Crested Newt sites were found, and over 120 volunteers successfully trained to undertake pond and amphibian surveys. In addition, 1,500 aquatic plant and 1,200 invertebrate species were recorded.
As Project Consultant, I was responsible for the delivery of all pond and amphibian training, including producing health and safety guidance; surveying; management advice to landowners; analysing the data and writing the final report; as well as helping to administer the project and aiding the initial grant application process. Interpretive information included a leaflet and display boards. The project also resulted in the publication of an original atlas, Amphibians and Reptiles of Herefordshire. I wrote the sections on geology, landscape and ponds of Herefordshire and co-wrote those on conservation policy and practice, amphibian recording in Herefordshire and the amphibian species account.
Sept 1998 – Aug 1999 Aqua Vitae 21 – Project Consultant
A partnership between the Environment Agency and Severn Trent Water, and led by Worcestershire County Council, AV 21 linked up with parish and community networks to survey, restore and conserve 21 ponds for the 21st Century with £21,000 of funding. My duties included project management; training of County Council Countryside Project staff and liaison with statutory agencies and voluntary groups such as BTCV. Important to the project’s success was collaboration with landowners to gain support for, and commitment to, the pond conservation initiatives, as well as access to the selected sites. A range of additional projects were undertaken besides the restoration of the 21 ponds. I compiled the manuscript for publication: Aqua Vitae 21: A Best Practice Guide to Pond Restoration.
PREVIOUS EMPLOYMENT +
PREVIOUS EMPLOYMENT -
May 1996 – Aug 1996 Worcestershire Wildlife Trust Grassland Surveyor (temporary contract)
I carried out botanical surveys of unimproved, neutral, calcareous and acidic grasslands in Worcestershire to NVC standard. Evaluated each site, wrote management guidelines and offered conservation advice.
Mar 1990 – May 1990 Nature Conservancy Council, Scientific Officer Urban Conservation
Surveyed public Open Spaces in Stroud and gathered sources of biological data for Gloucester City Council in preparation for a wildlife survey and strategy.
May 1987 – Oct 1988 Supervisor of the Worcestershire Nature Conservation Trust Urban Team
I led a team of four botanists in the surveying of 60 ‘Green Spaces’ within Worcester City. These were assessed for their wildlife, educational and recreational potential.
Jun 1985 – Jun 1986 Self-employed Landscape Contractor/Ecological Advisor
Working with assistance from the Enterprise Allowance Scheme.
Jan 1984 – Feb 1985 Information Officer Hereford & Worcester County Council Countryside Service
Compiled data on UK countryside and environmental organisations and produced a slide show on wildlife and the law.
CURRENT Natural England LICENSES HELD +
CURRENT Natural England LICENSES HELD -
Great Crested Newt, Medicinal Leech and Fairy Shrimp
I have undertaken surveys for all these Specially Protected species as well as Otter and Water vole.
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT +
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT -
- Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator training course at the Community Action Point, Pudleston 2009.
- Wetland Conference Environment Agency Wetland Strategies. Worcestershire Wildlife Trust 2008.
- Adobe Photoshop training, Edward Deasey, Pudleston Community Action Point 2007.
- Game Ranger Course, two weeks, to FGASA standard, African Conservation Experience 2007.
- IEEM Spring Conference Developing Best Practice in Surveying and Reporting April 2007.
- Environmental Stewardship training by Defra 2006.
- Medicinal Leech in Herefordshire training by Andrew Nixon August 2005.
- Dormouse training in Shropshire by Dr. Cathy Turtle 2003.
- Participant in the Toad Action Group at Hont on the River Ipoly in Hungary for 2 weeks over Easter 1999 and 2001. In 2003 carried amphibian surveys in Hungary and the Ukraine and surveyed ponds across Hungary for the National Amphibian Survey of Hungary.
- Professional photography training in Louisiana, USA, March 2000 by John Cancalosi.
- Contractor Management Awareness Course, School of Biological Sciences, University of Bristol 1999.
- Landscape and Archaeological Course by Herefordshire Archaeology Marches Woodland Initiative 1999.
- Attended the British Pond Landscapes Conference in November 1998 at Denman College.
- Delegate at the Ponds and Pond Landscapes of Europe Conference in Maastrict 30th August – 2nd Sept 1998.
- Otters and Water Voles Training Course, Marches Woodland Initiative October 1998.
- NVC Woodlands Course, Lancaster University, five day. Leader Dr. John Rodwell 1994.
- One day Badger course at Oxford University, 1992.
- Woodland Craft Course, two days, British Trust for Conservation Volunteers 1991.
2001 – ongoing Institute of Environmental and Ecological Management (IEEM) – Full Member
1999 – ongoing Founder member of Herefordshire Amphibian & Reptile Team and Vice Chairman
1993 – Founder of Worcestershire Reptile and Amphibian Group (WRAG)
1992 – ongoing West Midlands Representative for Herpetofauna Groups of Britain
2001 – 2002 University of Birmingham : School of Education , Shrewsbury
Completed four modules: Managing Biological Records, Identifying Difficult Invertebrate groups and Identifying Difficult Higher Plant Groups MSc Biological Recording: Collection and Management as part of MSc Biological Recording: Collection and Management degree course
1978 – 1982 Worcester College of Higher Education
- Bachelor of Education (BEd) degree in Rural Studies
- Passes: Rural Studies; Professional
- Studies; Educational Studies; Subsidiary Art
1976 -1978 Colchester Institute
1971 ~ 1976 Shiplake College, Henley-on-Thames
OTHER EXPERIENCE +
OTHER EXPERIENCE -
Media experience with newspaper, radio and television.
Deliver PowerPoint presentations to national conferences such as the Herpetofauna Workers’ Meeting and to local groups in Herefordshire and the surrounding area.
I am a stock photographer with Nature Picture Library in Bristol. Presently have over 150 images submitted. I have a natural history slide library with a collection of 10,000 35mm slides, 6 x 4mm colour transparencies and digital images. My photographic work has been published locally.
Watson, W.R.C., & Goddard, D.G. 2000. Pond Assessment using, Amphibians, Macrophytes and Macro-invertebrates. Teme Wildlife Consultants. Unpublished.
Have served on the panel of the UK Great Crested Newt Species Action Plan national steering group. I wrote the local Crested Newt Species Action plans for Herefordshire and Worcestershire.
I have been an active participant in the Worcestershire Flora Project. I have helped map the distribution of Black Poplars, elms and willow species and hybrids.
I led a local conservation group affiliated to the BTCV over a nine year period, during which time a range of habitat management projects were undertaken including pond restoration work.
FUNDRAISING: successful development of proposal forms for Herefordshire Ponds and Newts Project (HPNP)
Development of proposals for the Herefordshire Ponds and Newts Project and the Pond Celebration and Restoration Project.
Keeping a photographic record is an important component of my ecological work, but I am also a keen photographer in my spare time. I enjoy gathering wild food and preparing an edible meal with the ingredients. I also have a passion for landscape history, archaeology and travel.