This isn’t an unnervingly appropriate cracker joke and there is no punchline! It is however a question we are often asked – and one I have asked myself! The bats are hibernating, badgers are tucked up nice and warm in their setts, butterflies are either sleeping the winter away or are seeing out the season as a pupae.. It might seem like the only option is to join the wildlife and hibernate until March! Unfortunately this isn’t what we do!
I wont pretend that the work-boots are not replaced with slippers sometimes (the tiled office floor is very cold!) but there is still plenty to keep us busy. Winter is a time when we get chance to catch up with all the things we have not had chance to do during the rest of the year! Once I’ve waded through some paper work, completed some tender submissions, chased a few outstanding invoices and updated the 2013 year planner, I might find time to follow up some of our summer work. It is always very interesting to phone round clients and find out how their projects have progressed. At Hesketh Ecology we pride ourselves on the fact that to our knowledge, no client has ever been refused planning consent on ecological grounds when they have followed our advice.
So although it can be a time for ‘house keeping’, not all wildlife sleeps through the winter. Especially when the winter is as mild as it has been this year! In the past week we have been called out to two hedgehogs seen on roads in the area – most likely young born in September who have struggled to put on enough weight to safely hibernate – which were bought back to our house for food, water and a nice warm hedgehog box to sleep in. We are in the process of organising some wintering whooper swan surveys around Glasgow. Getting ahead of the game by conducting site inspections for bats (so as we can hit the ground running in April). We are out tree felling most weeks and of course there are the ever present ecological scoping and screening surveys. On top of all that we also find some time to attend conferences, training events and seminars.
Our work certainly changes in the winter, but it doesn’t stop! However tempting it might be, we cant hibernate or migrate. Spring will be here soon, and with the first records of common frogs in ponds and toads on roads coming in, it might be here sooner that we think!