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Keadby Windfarm, North Lincolnshire

Client: Sinclair Knight Merz (SKM)
Duration: May to October 2012
Areas of survey: Keadby windfarm site (approximately 9 km²)
Project manager: Jennie Caddick
Team: Jennie Caddick & Sylvia Jay (team leaders), field survey team of six Assistant Ecologists, GIS Technician, Reviewer
Outputs: Survey undertaken and reported on time and on budget to support development and construction of Keadby Windfarm

Background
Haycock and Jay Associates Ltd were commissioned to undertake protected species surveys for great crested newt, badger, water vole, otter, bats and small mammals across this large onshore windfarm site during 2012. The scheme is the biggest on-shore windfarm in England with construction of 34 turbines and an installed capacity between 68 and 85MW, including the associated infrastructure requirements. Due to the scale of the site, at approximately 9km2 with over 60km of ditches, and tight time line for project delivery, particular emphasis was paid to planning the timing and location of surveys, and, in order to meet these requirements the management of a number of additional surveyors was also needed.

Sylvia Jay holding a mouse

Ecological Surveys
Protected species surveys were carried out in accordance with published methodology for each species and included:

  • badger survey along all accesses and at turbine locations across the site
  • water vole and otter survey at over 100 ditch sections
  • nearly 20km of bat activity transect routes
  • survey and assessment of small mammal abundance as prey for owls and marsh harrier

Reporting & Mapping
Reports were produced for each element of the ecological survey work and included baseline survey methodologies and results to allow for comparison in future ecological monitoring at the site. Habitat management plans were produced for the extensive ditch network on site, in order to enhance the value of this habitat for water vole as part of a mitigation package.

Reports featured detailed bat sound analysis using the most up to date sound recording equipment and analysis software for bat calls recorded during the activity transect surveys. GIS mapping of bats, badger, water vole and otter activity were also delivered.

Project Completion
Comprehensive ecological data was collected, interpreted and presented in a clear and succinct manner to inform the development of Keadby windfarm. Our previous experience of large scale construction sites meant that standard risk assessments and procedures were produced and employed on site and that the final project was delivered safely, on time and on budget.