Ecological clerk of works

What does an Ecological Clerk of Works do?
An ecological clerk of works oversees construction activities in ecologically sensitive areas. The overseeing brief of the ecological clerk of works is intended to ensure that construction works follow a pre-determined methodology designed to prevent impacts on ecologically sensitive areas. The ecological clerk of works' presence on site can be permanent or periodical during the course of a construction project. The ecological clerk of works can assist in co-ordinate site activities with the construction contractor. Should it be necessary to deviate from a pre-agreed methodology, the ecological clerk of works can respond on the ground to changing site conditions and propose alternative mitigation measures to ensure a project can stay on schedule without causing negative ecological impacts.

Why would ecological supervision be required?

Supervision of works in ecologically sensitive areas is often required to ensure correct and effective implementation of mitigation measures as designed at the pre-operational stage.

Ecological supervisors are often also called on to advise on issues that arise during the course of works but were not foreseen. Their role is to ensure that the works proceed with minimal ecological disturbance or damage. Supervision is often stipulated in the grant of planning permission.


What type of project is likely to require supervision?
Supervision is generally required in ecologically sensitive areas where there is the potential to cause extensive damage to an area of protected or designated habitat if specific methodologies and procedures are not followed. McCarthy Keville O’Sullivan have supervised the following types of project:

  • Pipe laying operations in lakes, rivers and bogs that are designated for conservation.
  • Erection of power lines in bogs, heaths, sand dunes and woodlands that are designated for conservation 
  • Coppice management of woodlands
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