We provide ecological support to commercial energy projects of all scales. Our projects include onshore wind farms of up to 70 turbines, energy from waste plants in former minerals extraction sites, new gas and nuclear plants in ecologically sensitive (often coastal) locations, solar and the decommissioning of sites that have reached the end of their operational lives. We also work on ‘life extension’ applications, repowering schemes and on projects to link new facilities to the electricity grid network.
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; specific breeding wader, grouse and raptor survey; generic 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 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.