Surveys to assess the impact of major schemes are an essential tool for planners.
The discovery of protected species such as the great crested newt or natterjack toad during the construction phase can prove expensive in stand down times and fines. Bad publicity is just as damaging.
Early thorough survey work will help to inform you of any potential issues before they become real problems.
Major Pipeline Survey
UES were commissioned by a Northwest based utilities company to carry out survey work for a major pipeline in the north west of England.
The proposed pipeline route covered 16 km and went through a site of biological interest (SBI) and came close to a site of special scientific interest (SSSI). UES were tasked with surveying the route to provide information on the potential ecological impact of the scheme, and to find any ponds within 250m of the route which would need to be surveyed for great crested newts. The information would be used to assess the impact of the pipeline on protected species and habitats, in order that a route with the lowest ecological impact could be found.
The survey consisted of several phases as follows:
• Initial walkover of the whole route to a distance of 250m from the pipeline to scope for ponds and any habitat features which would be affected
• Detailed extended phase 1 habitat survey of the full route to within 30m of the pipeline to assess any direct impacts
• Great crested newt presence / absence surveys to locate breeding ponds
• Great crested newt population size class assessments to inform any future European protected species (EPS) licensing.
Reports were produced for the client detailing all information from the phase 1 surveys, and also the great crested newt pond surveys. Aerial photography of the whole route was included in the report with the proposed pipeline route overlaid. A Mapinfo GIS plan of the whole pipeline route was produced with the phase 1 survey information.