BSG Ecology provides specialist ecological and ornithological survey and advice in relation to onshore wind farms, solar farms, energy from waste facilities, gas power stations and nuclear sites. We provide a complete consultancy service, from informing site selection and inputting to concept design to the provision of expert witness support at public inquiry and undertaking post construction monitoring.


We provide ecological support to commercial energy projects of all scales. Our projects include onshore wind farms of up to 70 turbines, numerous large and small-scale solar sites, energy from waste plants, new gas and nuclear plants. We also work on ‘life extension’ applications, repowering and decommissioning schemes and their associated grid connections.

Field Survey

We have a large team of ecologists, many of whom have significant experience of ecological assessment of energy sector developments, and who are supplemented by a network of regionally based specialist sub-contractors.

Our team has relevant expertise in the following technical areas for energy projects:

  • Birds: Vantage-point (VP) survey to inform collision risk analysis at proposed wind farms; breeding wader, grouse and raptor survey; breeding bird survey; wintering waterfowl survey; landscape-scale distribution mapping of flock-forming species such as geese and plovers; mapping of bird distribution in intertidal and inshore marine habitats; radio-tracking of nightjar; and, thermal imaging survey to determine nocturnal bird distribution.
  • Bats: Transect and static surveys; roost assessments; ‘at height’ surveys; internal inspections of buildings and aerial inspections of trees; radio tracking of high sensitivity species; fatality searches beneath turbines using search dogs.
  • Vegetation mapping: Phase 1 survey to identify habitat types; National Vegetation Classification (NVC) (where applicable) to attribute these to specific community types.  Application of SEPA’s SNIFFER guidance for evaluation of wetland habitats and identification of potential ground water dependent terrestrial ecosystems (GWDTEs);
  • Protected species: surveys of water courses for species including otter, water vole and freshwater macroinvertebrates; and, survey for badger, hazel dormouse, great crested newt (including eDNA), red squirrel, badger and various other terrestrial mammals in appropriate habitat.

Ecology Consultancy Services

BSG Ecology provides a comprehensive ecological consultancy service, including:

  • Initial advice and preliminary ecological appraisal to enable early understanding of likely survey requirements, costs and project risk.
  • Detailed desk study, involving the purchase of data, interrogation of aerial photographs, maps and information on designated sites, and where necessary the review of planning applications.
  • Survey design and implementation based on published guidance, knowledge of local conservation priorities and likely sensitivities.
  • Liaison with statutory and non-statutory nature conservation consultees to agree a proportionate scope of works.
  • Input to screening and scoping reports.
  • The production of baseline reports in support of EcIA Chapters.
  • Collision risk analysis to determine likely rates of bird fatality at turbines.
  • Ecological and Ornithological Impact Assessments based on industry guidance.
  • Habitats Regulations Assessment advice, reports and consultation.
  • Attendance at public exhibitions.
  • Securing and implementing European Protected Species mitigation licences that allow work to proceed.
  • Design and implementation of non-licenced method statements.
  • Construction phase Ecological Clerk of Works support (including toolbox talks) to help ensure legislative compliance.
  • Critical review of planning conditions to ensure these are fit for purpose and proportionate in view of changing guidance.
  • Post construction monitoring, including the design and implementation of detailed work to explore areas of residual uncertainty during the EcIA process and inform further mitigation.
  • Support to nature conservation stakeholders in reviewing large scale energy applications, e.g through critical reviews of ES chapters and technical reports.