Ecological Surveys: Their Place in Modern Development

Posted on August 10, 2016 in Business

Protecting Endangered Species & Natural Habitats

Ecological surveys need to be carried out in order to identify habitats along with any species that are present in a particular area. This is important when a development proposal is made, because certain sites may be subjected to a loss of habitat, or a reduction in the value of such a habitat. There may also be a considerable negative impact on species that live in that area, including birds. We thus need to make sure that developments do not lead to these kinds of problems, and whenever possible we have to try to strike a balance between proceeding with a development and doing so in a sustainable manner. With the help of ecological surveys carried out by professional landscape architects, one will be able to identify any ecological constraints that may be present, while ensuring that the appropriate measures are taken as early as the design stage of the proposed development or project.

Ecological Survey. Image credit: ECOSA

Ecological Survey. Image credit: ECOSA

Thus undertaking ecological surveys will help developers to be aware of any ecological constraints that need to be dealt with, so as to design the development in a manner that will help them to minimize the impact on biodiversity, which is of utmost importance. If there are any legally protected species, these will be identified and action will be taken so as to safeguard them by avoiding, or at least, minimising any negative impacts that the proposed development may have had on them. Landscape designers and architects will advise on the possible modification and enhancement measures to be taken, and will also come up with feasible ways to make sure that these measures are ideal for the site, the surrounding areas, as well as for the habitats and species involved.

Ecological surveys are considered to be a very important part of the application process. Local planning authorities will consult the ecological survey report and any relevant considerations while they are determining whether to accept an application for development or not. So effectively by entrusting a specialist with the carrying out of an ecological survey, you will be improving your chances of having your application for development accepted. This is because you are clearly demonstrating that you are aware of the consequences and want to take into account the ecological aspects of the site in question.

The primary ecological appraisal that is carried out is referred to as a Phase 1 Habitat Survey, and an extended one may be required as well in some cases. The findings will be then be submitted to the local planning authority. This is done in the form of a meticulous report where all the findings are detailed, along with an assessment of how the development that is being proposed could have an impact on any habitats and species in the said area. This is done so as to ensure that the relevant information is made available with, or prior to submitting the application for development.

Analysing Grasslands & Fauna

Analysing Grasslands & Fauna. Image credit: North York Moors National Park

Ecological surveys are also used to detect any environmental conditions as well as to document the vegetation on project sites. Data will be gathered on the fauna, vegetation, as well as on other elements. Generally different management methods are used on such project sites. With their help it will then be possible to document any differences in vegetation in the different sections of a site. It would also be easier to see how such sections may have changed from one period to another. This is carried out with a number of different management regimes which are applied to the various sections of the site, so as to then compare them to a control section, which is basically like a constant factor. These types of studies with the help of ecological surveys are indispensable in cases when we would need to identify different plant architectures, as well as to identify why and how a site has changed over a span of time.

The information acquired from such thorough investigations and surveys on such sites will equip you with a great deal of knowledge. This information will then be used to devise a more sustainable strategy or plan of action. Effectively ecological surveys can help you to reach conclusions as well be of an indispensable assistance for decision making in these areas.

How to Use the Stars to Tell Time

Posted on July 24, 2016 in Technology

Imagine this! You are on a solo camping or fishing trip and stumbling on your way to the river in the dark, both your watch and cell phone fall into the river. You can’t retrieve either, since you can’t see, but you need to know what the time is. Doesn’t matter why you need to know, but it is imperative that you know how long it is before sunrise. What to do?

Well, if you know same basic astronomy, you can use the North Star and the Plough (Big Dipper) asterism to tell the time to within about 30 minutes or so. Here is how, but if you don’t know some basic astronomy and are a beginner to using stargazing equipment, refer to the image below before you leave on a camping or fishing trip.

Image credit:

Image credit:

This image shows the relationship between the Plough and Polaris, the North Star. Note that the distance between the star and the asterism never changes. The only thing that changes is the position of the Plough relative to the star, since the asterism completes one complete orbit around the star in the course of each 24-hour period. Thus, the asterism will return to the same position relative to the star on the same date every year.

It is worth noting that the rate at which the Plough revolves around the North Star also does not change, meaning that the time it takes the asterism to compete a part of its rotation around the star, say 15 degrees, will always be the same, regardless of where in the rotational circle each subsequent 15- degree segment falls.

So referring to the image again, we can see that it is possible to divide the circle traced out by the Plough’s anti-clockwise rotation around the North Star into equally-sized segments- 24 in this case since the Plough takes 24 hours to complete one revolution around the North Star in an anti-clockwise direction. For our purposes, one segment represents 15 degrees, or one hour of time.

Telling the time

Before you can actually use our Big Dipper clock, you need to remember that the relative positions of the Plough and the North Star as they are represented on Fig. 1 indicate the correct time, but only on the night of March 7/8, but this happens every year, so the clock is reasonably accurate from one year to the next.

So on March 7/8, the clock will show the correct time, midnight, but as the year wears on, you need to correct for the passage of time. There are various ways of doing this, one being the addition or subtraction of one hour per month before or after March 7/8, but there is an easier way. Here’s how:

  • Bear in mind that the Plough takes 24 hours to complete one revolution. Therefore, and regardless of where in its rotation the Plough is, the passage of four hours will equal an angle of 60 degrees.
  • So, remembering that midnight is represented by the Plough being at the top of the imaginary clock, it becomes a simple matter to gauge the angle between the pointer stars and the North Star from the perpendicular to where it is now. Every 60 degrees of movement translates into four hours of elapsed time. Subdividing each 60 degree segment yields a more accurate guesstimate of the actual time, but remember that the actual time read off the celestial clock will be accurate only on March 7/8. Thus, on this date, follow the rule below-
  1. Midnight (24:00): The Plough is directly over the North Star.
  2. 6AM (06:00): The Plough is due west of the North Star.
  3. Noon (12:00): The Plough is due south of the Pole Star.
  4. 6PM (18:00): The Plough is due east of the North Star.

Correcting for the date

Since a circle only has 360 degrees, and the Earth takes roughly 365 days to complete an orbit around the Sun, the celestial clock runs fast at the rate of 4 minutes per day, which translates into around two hours per month.

To correct for this deviation, you must subtract 30 minutes for each week after March 7/8. Thus, if you read a time of say, midnight on May 7, (3 months, or 12 weeks later), you get a value of 360 minutes, or three hours that must be taken into account. This would make the time on May 7 not midnight, but 9 PM, since you must subtract the time that the celestial clock had been running fast over the 12 weeks from March 7, to May 7. To correct for Daylight Saving Time (when DST is in effect), add one hour to the calculated time to get a reasonably accurate time.

7 Most Common Mistakes Interior Designers Make

Posted on June 16, 2016 in Lifestyle

Avoid these classic interior design pitfalls

Nowadays, design has emerged into a new era – where interior designers are the new heroes of the modern homes. Everyone wants to create a better space for living and working – and feel better inside the home or the office.

However, there are still some common mistakes that interior designers make. Today, we are listing the most common ones so that you avoid them when renovating your home or office.

1. Lack Of Vision

Let’s face it, the best interior designers in London are creative and willing to try out new things. However, it is not the creative mind that is always the most important aspect for creating a stunning interior space. Sometimes, the lack of vision may be the main problem resulting in a terrible design – and a less than dramatic effect. Hurrying out in choosing the wall colour or furniture can be one of the most common examples.

2. The ‘Wow’ Effect

As you may know, the ‘wow’ effect is that special something that creates balance in every interior space. It is the harmony of colours, styles and items that makes an environment pleasant. However, not many interior designers focus on the ‘wow’ effect – and occasionally fall short in creating that necessary drama.

Most architects and interior designers have two to three projects they are proud of. They reflect on them and try to incorporate their styles in every next project. Although this has created a certain ‘wow’ effect in the past, it is not necessarily something every home needs. In other words, trying to incorporate a certain style in more than one place may result in a huge mistake – and an interior design that is too much forced and does not look natural or sympathetic to the environment you are designing to won’t always work.

3. Establishing a Design Budget

We all know that there are times when the budget of the client may be low to create something stunning. However, being resourceful is a big advantage found with the very best interior designers. All in all, establishing a budget is something that many interior designers skip when negotiating with their clients – and this situation leads to many struggles afterwards.

Clearly identifying the approximate cost of the interior design project gives the needed structure for the process – and breaking the process into phases ensures the proper funding and a vision of all the design effects for each room or space.

4. Capturing the Idea

A lot of interior designers are driven by their creative minds. However, interior design ideas may be like the wind – flying away too fast. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to capture all of them when they are going by , and many interior designers do not practice this rule.

In a nutshell, it is much easier to test all the new ideas, textures, fabrics and colours if they are put on a ‘design board’. Listing all the things and aspects will therefore ensure that everything is on place. Aside from that, they can let the designer sense what is creating drama and what is not working. Capturing the ideas makes the process flow in a better way.

5. Understanding the Principles of Colour, Texture & Effect

There is a rule that everything that is appealing to the eye was created with the layers of colour, texture and effect in mind. The principles of layering are not only something interior designers in London should have in mind – but something they should study and be experienced with.

After all, colour and texture are the most essential things interior designers work with – in order to create a special effect in every space. Layering styles and colours is a true art – and every interior designer should learn the principles of layering before putting them to practice.


At last, staging is also something that makes every interior design project special. Interior designers should put this to practice and understand more than just the space that needs to be reinvented. The feelings, mood and ambiance the client wants to feel are after all the most essential part of each interior design project.

Are you a Kent business owner in need of a top SEO?

Posted on February 23, 2016 in Business

How to get ahead on the search engines in your county

The county of Kent currently has a population of approximately 1.5 million as of census data collected in 2014. Of those people, there are literally tens of thousands of businesses ranging from the services, to technology to consumer sectors all fighting over this ever increasing non-metropolitan population. Outside of London, Kent has the fastest growing population of any county in England and its set to grow even further.

With this in mind, is it any wonder that with such a burgeoning populous, its vital to get ahead of the game in this information age? The world has gone truly digital with a huge percentage of the people now owning or using a internet connected device such as a PC, Mac, smartphone, tablet or laptop. Big business knows this and realises that to win in this century of data, you need to get found and the only way to do that is via the search engines.

Google is regarded as the daddy of search engines. With a market share of over 85%, this mantel isn’t surprising when you see just how dominant they are. The rest of the competition are merely fighting over scraps and thus, to get ahead of the search marketing game, you need to get ahead on Google.

With the shift towards handheld devices now being a formality, people now search on-the-move more than ever. Gone are the days when people would only surf the internet at home or work. Internet usage and data demands are 24/7 around the clock. It’s a simple fact that our everyday lives depend greatly on search and information. We are a part of the information hungry generation.

As a business owner, if you want to remain in business and ensure the future of your organisation, there’s no greater importance than being prominent in the search results. And what is important to know is that the search world is about to change.

I recent days, Google just announced a dramatic change to the way they will display PPC results. Instead of having 2 results at the top and several results down the right hand-side of the page, they will scrap the side panel results in favour of placing paid PPC ads at the top but this time, there’ll be 4. Now you may ask, what has this got to do with SEO which is about organic results? Everything because with the addition of two more paid ads stacked at the top of every search results page, followed by the local results box directly underneath, it means that organic results will be severely pushed down the search results page, in many cases, way below the fold.

That’s massive news and a huge blow to traditional, organic SEO because it mans that PPC and local results will literally dominate search from here on. So the conclusion is simple – if you’re a local business, your number one objective is to get placed in the Google local results for your server or product n your town. It’s that clear cut.

The best way to do that is to speak to a local Kent SEO who is located in your town and knows your demographic, geographic and market profiles. Forget using an overseas, cheap and cheerful supplier. That will simply lead to disaster. if you need local results, you need to speak to a local expert.

The world of search is about to see a massive sea-change so if you want to get ahead of the competition, now is the time to act and ensure you’re Google local business results are prominent and dominant.

The Digital Marketing Recipe For Your Kent-Based Business

Posted on November 25, 2015 in Business

Sure, you have heard of how dynamic digital marketing in Kent really is and the wonders it could do to transform your business. Whether it’s simple or complex to you, digital marketing is all about how your company embraces it. If you are short on digital marketing experts, the more likely you will be confused and miss out the benefits of digital marketing for your Kent business.

On the other side, if you actively engage in your digital marketing efforts, or maybe hire a professional digital agency to do so – you will make sure to learn and get to know every part of the digital marketing for your Kent business in practice.

So, what does digital marketing consist of – as a pre-guide to your future knowledge?

  • Engaging and shareable content – First and foremost, digital marketing in Kent and every other location focuses on content as its main drive. Without any technical side of view for you to understand, content is the king on which your digital marketing plan should focus on. Being informative and sharing valuable information, while being worth of a share and another visit in the future is what defines successful content marketing as a vital part of your digital marketing efforts.
  • Efficient Email marketing – You certainly have a grasp of what email marketing is, and believe it or not – it has affected you whether you like it or not. Your digital marketing in Kent must include a targeted email marketing strategy, just because the email is a medium we all visit each day – and one of the best mediums for sharing information. Your digital marketing in Kent needs organized email marketing – whether it’s a reminder for consumers to buy your product/service or an introduction to your new line/collection.
  • Stellar Website Design – Obviously, your efforts on digital marketing in Kent will all circle down to your website as the leading source of information and the primary target you want to be visited on by your audience. Having a well-built, functional and responsive website design is one of the best things you can do for your business. A bonus point goes if it is optimized for mobile users, simply because we keep being more mobile and with better devices every new year!
  • Organic SEO – Seeing your business on the first pages of search engine results pages must be another goal of your Kent digital marketing strategy. Google is now visited more than ever, and the chance for you to rank with the best results – either organically or through paid PPC ads is also a chance to spread your business out to new opportunities.
  • Engaging Social Media – Last but not least, your Kent based digital marketing strategy needs social media. As an active reminder of how important socializing with your brand is for the audience, social media has become the leading aspect of many digital marketing strategies – resulting with millions of followers and potential customers over the long run. Twitter and Facebook should therefore be your new digital marketing arenas.

In the end, if you ever need help with the latest digital marketing Kent trends for your business, as well as implementation of any form of digital marketing activities and setups, you can always consult with and hire a digital agency in Kent – specialized to deliver you tangible results in the quickest way possible, through a digital marketing strategy oriented to results only.

Sky Go Abroad: Never Miss Another Show

Posted on November 19, 2015 in Technology

British TV is undoubtedly one of the best in the world, and when you’re at home, you’re spoilt for choice with all the great content available there. Be it movies, sports, TV shows or news, nothing beats British TV. And one of the most popular on-demand UK TV services for accessing all this great content is Sky Go. With over ten million people hooked on to this service, it is one of the best in UK at the moment. But there is one question that has bothered Sky Go fans over the years. Can you watch Sky Go abroad?

Sky Go is basically a service that is very similar to BBC iPlayer. It lets you access all the programs you’ve missed out on and is one of the best services for catch-up TV in the UK. It is also a great on the road service, since you can sync it up with your tablet or your mobile phone and get to see all that great content at the touch of a button. But there is one thing that many of us Sky Go lovers complain about. That is the services of Sky Go abroad.

If you’re out vacationing in Spain, and want to catch up on a great British movie, there are chances that you might be completely disappointed when you realize that your Sky Go doesn’t work there. The service is available, but you cannot watch any content outside UK soil using Sky Go. This is a terrible thing, because with so many great things to watch, we don’t want to miss out on our entertainment when we’re out of the country, be it on vacation or on a work trip. It is a pay TV service, and what you feel really bad about is not being able to watch all the TV content you want especially when you’re out on vacation.

So in case you’re in the USA, France, Germany or any other place in the world, you’ll be really sad about the fact that you are missing out on all the great TV that you could watch back home. But there is no need to despair. There is a way in which you can watch your favorite TV shows on Sky Go abroad. The process is quite simple and completely legal.

All you need to do is to install a VPN or an encrypted Virtual Private Network and voila, you’ll be able to access your favorite shows once again, even if you’re outside the country. What the VPN does is to bypass all the restrictions which stop you from watching British TV abroad. Basically, Sky Go gets blocked when your IP address shows that you are not on UK soil.

But with the VPN, you can get your connection encrypted. And watch all the awesome content that defines television, no matter where you are.

UK TV Box: Watch your Favourite Shows Abroad

Posted on November 18, 2015 in Technology

You are on a holiday or on business trip abroad, or you have shifted base to another remote country and missing your favorite soaps and other programs, wondering how to catch up with them. No need to worry anymore.

You can watch close to 100 channels of UK Television from anywhere in the world, using the all new IPTV set top boxes. No need for any satellite system. Not even a computer.

A broadband connection, with minimum of 2.5MEG download, is enough to enable you to watch a range of UK Television channels from BBC to ITV to Sky Sports, and many more. You just have to buy a UK TV box and plug and play it on the television set in your room and there you are!

There are many types of set top boxes available in the market today like MAG250 and MAG254, which come with remote control devices. Connect the set top box to your ADSL router and the TV will instantly start beaming all those shows that you were craving for, living thousands of miles away from home.

Using MAG250/254

It is an amazing light weight and easy to carry device. It also comes with a remote control system. One of the biggest benefits of using MAG250 is that it is compatible with almost all kinds of modern HDMI ready television sets. It gives you a very high sound and picture quality and supports most modern audio and video formats, even subtitles. It is a fantastic UK TV Box which will ensure that you never miss your favorite British TV show.

There is not much of difference between MAG250 and MAG254, when it comes to design and functionality. Just that MAG254 is a slightly improved version of 250 with a better memory and a faster processor. Its remote also has more functions.

What is IPTV?

IPTV is an acronym for Internet Protocol Television. It is a system that uses an Internet protocol for delivering television services. IPTV currently has three kinds of services: Live Television, Time Shifted Television and Video-on-Demand. All three kinds of services come at very affordable prices. You can get an IPTV at very reasonable rates and they are available widely. You just have to subscribe to the service, paying a nominal fee and the UKTV will travel with you, wherever you go on the planet earth.

So if you are looking for a cost effective way of catching up on your favorite UK shows, go ahead and get a UK TV box today.

Office Cleaners London: Finding the Right Team

Posted on November 16, 2015 in Business

Commercial office cleaning is something that every business manager or entrepreneur needs to take into consideration. An office that is not clean and tidy is going to have a negative impact on sales, staff productivity, as well as your customers perceptions of your business. Just imagine a client that goes to an office so as to buy a service, only to find dust all over the desk, dirty windows and sticky floors? What is he going to think? Surely, his first thought will be that the company is not going to offer such a high quality service considering how messy and disorderly the office looks. Therefore a clean office is imperative to maintain a good reputation and have customers feel at ease when they come to you to buy your services.

Another critical aspect of office cleanliness revolves around the staff. Your employees are going to spend several hours a day in this environment. So they need to have a pleasant and clean working environment if they are going to deliver their services well. Messy and untidy offices will result in demotivated personnel, and this will in turn effect their efficiency negatively.

There are various companies that offer office cleaning services in London, but you need to make sure that you are hiring a cleaning company that can truly offer you the best services. Cleaning is not just about dusting and mopping. There is much more to that. Therefore you need to make sure that you are going to hire professional cleaners that can help you maintain your offices clean and tidy, thus taking your company to the next level.

A professional cleaning company will see to every cleaning aspect of your office. Starting from the floors and furniture, to the windows and toilets. The cleaners should be well trained to perform their jobs well, and to make sure that you are satisfied with the final results. The tools and cleaning equipment used should be suitable to help the cleaners carry out their duties efficiently and expertly.

Experienced office cleaners London will be able to see to any specific needs clients may have. Apart from regular cleaning services, such as washing floors, dusting, vacuuming and seeing to garbage bins, there are also certain jobs may need to be seen to every fortnight or monthly. This generally includes cleaning windows and glass doors, as well as more thorough spring cleaning when the offices will be closed for a period of time.

Reading Sunglasses: Why Do We Need Them?

Posted on November 15, 2015 in Health

Reading is an activity that can be done anywhere and at any time. Therefore, it is possible to sit by the pool or in a park, and read a book, a magazine, or a newspaper. Sunrays can be a problem while reading. For people who need reading glasses, i.e., people with presbyopia, sunglasses that are also reading glasses are essential.

Like bifocal reading glasses, sundreaders are also available as bifocals. Usually, the glass or lens used to make these sunglasses does not seem like a separate glass because of improved perfection in making these glasses. In the past, it was easy to differentiate the thickness between the upper part of the lens and the lower part of the lens. However, it is possible to find retro style reading sunglasses, where such a difference in the thickness of lenses is obvious. Such reading sunglasses function as normal sunglasses as well as reading glasses. Effectively this is a style plus functionality combination.

Reading glasses prescribed for a person suffering from presbyopia will help the person to read at a normal distance of vision. Without such glasses, the person would be pushing those documents away to get distinct view just like a farsighted person gets.

Reading sunglasses are also available as prescribed glasses as well. These sunglasses are available in different colors or tints, as well as styles. The frames of these sunglasses are also strikingly fashionable. Therefore, people can choose to buy sunreaders with frames like goggles, or opt for rimless frames. Some of the frames may be conventional whereas others may have modern designs. But both may have lenses made from special plastic polymer such as CR-39, which is shatter proof. The shapes of the lenses also vary and so do their sizes.

Such sunreaders may be unisex reading glasses or gender specific reading glasses. Wearing such sunglasses provides almost 99 percent protection from the sun’s UVA and UVB rays.

Unlike conventional reading glasses, sunreaders are often costlier. However, most of these sunreaders are available for less than $20 from online stores. The biggest advantage of buying such reading sunglasses is that the user does not have to change from reading glasses to sun glasses, and vice versa. In addition, there is protection for the eyes as well, which is usually missing in conventional reading glasses.

Using Whey Protein Shakes for Lean Muscle Gain & Weight Loss

Posted on November 14, 2015 in Health

You may be an athlete who is training to acquire a lean, strong and muscled body or a stressed out office goer who wants to get a well-toned, conditioned and fit body minus the excess weight. You’ve heard colleagues raving about whey protein shakes, but still have doubts. You are unprepared for the stiffness and fatigue that seems to be associated with those who are working out vigorously.

Whey protein shakes can help you out. These products are becoming increasingly popular. The main reason is that they have numerous benefits. Let is discuss some of the main advantages of whey protein shakes in more detail.

  • Whey protein shakes are easily digestible. They readily supply energy to a tired body recovering from the strain of a workout or a stress filled day.
  • Since the fat burn out is enhanced, there is a remarkable loss of weight due to accumulated fat.
  • It enhances the metabolism and helps in making the protein available to the body.
  • Whey protein shakes strengthen the auto immunity and help protect the individual from infections and illnesses.
  • The regular intake of whey protein shakes lowers high blood pressure as it helps get rid of cholesterol and ends up regulating the blood pressure to normal levels.
  • It reacts with cancer causing free radicals, neutralizes them and reduces the risk of cancer. The body finds it easier to eliminate waste matter, which tends to accumulate inside.
  • Whey protein powders are affordable and show remarkable positive results in a short span of time.
  • Individuals looking for quick results without subjecting the body to any health risk or injury can take to whey protein shakes.

The good thing about fast results is that an individual finds it easier to abandon bad food habits. He doesn’t have to chart out a detailed diet chart to figure out what is a balanced diet. Dieticians and doctors differ in what constitutes a good diet and when it comes to an individual’s diet planning, there can be a lot of confusion, which may demotivate one from even trying to start a fitness program.

People nowadays are focused on self-development and their first goal is to develop a healthy and strong body. Regular exercise can’t be done if you take too much time to recover from a workout. It is not enough to start an exercise program and not support it with proper health supplements. Whey protein shakes are the healthy and convenient option for anyone who is keen to achieve a healthy body and maintain it in a fit and strong state.