BSG Ecology provided ecological support and advice to RWE Npower Renewables, and a team of consultants led by Stephenson Halliday (the environmental consultancy responsible for co-ordinating the Environmental Impact Assessment), during the preparation and submission of a planning application for a five turbine wind farm in Lincolnshire.
Our role in the project
We devised the scope and delivered the baseline ecological surveys necessary to inform the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and assisted with the design of the turbine layout. We went on to prepare the Ecology Chapter of the Environmental Statement (ES), and provided advice to the project team throughout the impact assessment process.
Baseline data collection and Ecological Impact Assessment
Baseline survey work was carried out in 2011 and 2012. This began with a desk study and an Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey to confirm the scope of more detailed work that was required in support of an appropriate ecological baseline. Numerous bat survey techniques were employed including walked transects, remote survey (i.e. the deployment of automated bat detectors over several days each month to sample bat activity at specific locations throughout the site), roost survey (including tree-climbing surveys of mature trees to check for evidence of bat roosts), and bat survey at height (using bat detectors fixed to the meteorological mast). Other issues flagged up through the scoping process included the potential for great crested newt and badger, and surveys for these species were also undertaken by appropriately licensed and experienced staff.
This data was used to inform the design of the site layout, and to allow the preparation of the Ecological chapter of the Environmental Statement which was submitted in support of the development. The application was submitted to South Kesteven District Council in September 2013.