Ecological surveys identify the ecological components of a potential wind farm site and can be important in guiding the design of a project from the outset to minimise potential environmental. Important ecological habitats and areas designated as ecological conservation areas can constrain wind farm developments, and therefore it is important that such areas are identified early in the design and planning process. McCarthy Keville O’Sullivan have extensive experience in undertaking ecological surveys of wind farm sites, and have a dedicated in-house team of ecologists to respond quickly to client’s requirements.
Ecological surveys usually go towards the production of an Ecological Impact Assessment (EcIA) or the Ecology section of an Environmental Impact Statement for a wind farm site.
Ecological Surveys and Impact Assessments collate data from various sources such as desk studies and ecological surveys in order to produce an assessment of the likely ecological impacts of a wind farm proposal on the receiving environment. The extent of the baseline survey necessary is determined on the basis of the ecological sensitivity of the site and surrounding areas, and the potential for the proposed development to impact thereon. Consultation with statutory authorities and local bodies is frequently undertaken as part of an ecological impact assessment to ensure all stakeholders are satisfied with scope of the assessment being undertaken.
Ecological Surveys and Assessments can generally be conducted at any time of the year once the required information is available to characterise the study site. However it is recommended that where possible, data is collected over a number of seasons in order to ensure that the whole range of floral and faunal species present are identified. Depending on the site, it may be appropriate to conduct a site visits at other times of the year apart from the peak summer season, such as at sites hosting wintering wildfowl.
McCarthy Keville O'Sullivan can also work as part of a larger project team to undertake the ecological component of an Environmental Impact Assessment. McCarthy Keville O'Sullivan staff have extensive experience in the preparation and compilation of Environmental Impact Statements and are aware of the importance of a co-ordinated approach between project team members in the assessment process. Interaction at all project phases ensures the project team are alerted to ecological constraints at the earliest possible stage.
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Ecological Surveys & Impact assessments.pdf