Working with wildlife for the construction industry

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Slides from our introduction to wildlife for professionals working in the construction industry.

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  • Talk about the new word biodiversity! But what does it mean? Tend to value things more if they provide something obvious. Eg cows give milk, bees make honey – do earwigs make chutney (Eddie Izzard line!!) If badgers brewed beer would we take more care of them? Or if great crested newts did the ironing would be more keen to provide ponds? (could waffle on about this as a bit of light entertainment!) Wildlife actually does keep us alive (ecosystem services) but on a more prosaic level if we get it wrong with wildlife they cost us money. Getting it right therefore saves money, can create interest and helps maintain a healthy environment
    The classic definition of Biodiversity is ‘The variability among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part, including diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems’ .
  • Construction can have an impact on wildlife in a number of ways
  • Principal acts
  • The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 is the principal piece of legislation protecting wildlife in the UK. It has undergone various revisions, including those made by the Wildlife and Countryside (Amendment) Act 1985, and the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000. Broadly, it seeks to protect habitats (by designating them as sites of special scientific interest – SSSIs) and individual species. All wild birds are given some protection during the breeding season, and other species are given different degrees of protection depending on their conservation status.
  • The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 is the principal piece of legislation protecting wildlife in the UK. It has undergone various revisions, including those made by the Wildlife and Countryside (Amendment) Act 1985, and the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000. Broadly, it seeks to protect habitats (by designating them as sites of special scientific interest – SSSIs) and individual species. All wild birds are given some protection during the breeding season, and other species are given different degrees of protection depending on their conservation status.
  • In addition to receiving limited protection under Schedule 6 of the WCA 1981, badgers and their setts are also protected by the Badgers Act 1992. This Act was established to help combat the cruel activities of badger digging and badger baiting. It extends to England, Scotland and Wales but not to Northern Ireland.
    Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 (NERC Act)
    Amongst other things:
    Amends the WCA 1981
    Sections 41 and 42 replace section 74 of the CROW Act and thereby extend the CROW biodiversity duty to public bodies and statutory undertakers to ensure due regard to the conservation of biodiversity.
  • Circulars issued by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister in England, and by the Scottish Parliament and the National Assembly for Wales).
    Government White Papers.
  • At the 1992 UNCED Conference in Rio the UK Government signed up to the Convention on Biodiversity.
    As a result produced Biodiversity: the UK Action Plan. From this has emanated Species Action Plans and Habitat Action Plans at the national level. These action plans state what is needed to conserve and enhance the status of certain wildlife species and habitats that are perceived to be under threat of long term damage or loss. The Action Plans are worked out in great detail, including who should be involved in the process, the ways in which the target is to be achieved and the costs of achieving it.
    England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all have their own BAPs.
    Many counties in the UK now have a BAP or are working on one, and even some smaller authorities, such as London Boroughs, have produced their own local plans.
    Important governmental organisations have also produced their own BAP, for example the Highways Agency and the Environment Agency
  • Screening – This can be used to gather together existing information on a site to flag up any possible constraints or opportunities and to identify what may be needed by way of further survey. Screening is not season-dependent. Look for:
          designated areas
    areas of semi natural habitat
    habitats included in a BAP
    protected species
    species subject to a BAP
    Red Data Book (RDB) species
    Birds of Conservation Concern (BCC)
     
    Scoping survey – This is a short site visit, possibly at pre-acquisition phase to identify any possible ecological constraints to development and any opportunities for ecological improvement. It is important at this stage to identify the next steps to take in terms of survey. A scoping survey can be carried out any time of the year.
     
  • Phase 1 Habitat Survey identifies the habitats that comprise a site and the key plant species for each of those habitat types.
    It also provides ‘target-notes’ on important aspects of the site, for example, the presence of a rare plant or animal, or a special habitat feature such as an ancient hedgerow.
    A Phase 1 survey can be carried out any time of the year, but is best done in spring and summer when the vegetation types that characterise a certain habitat are more readily identifiable.
    Extended Phase 1 surveys provide more information, particularly on the vegetation of a site, than a Phase 1 survey, but do not go into the detail of a Phase 2 survey.
  • Phase 1 Habitat Survey identifies the habitats that comprise a site and the key plant species for each of those habitat types.
    It also provides ‘target-notes’ on important aspects of the site, for example, the presence of a rare plant or animal, or a special habitat feature such as an ancient hedgerow.
    A Phase 1 survey can be carried out any time of the year, but is best done in spring and summer when the vegetation types that characterise a certain habitat are more readily identifiable.
    Extended Phase 1 surveys provide more information, particularly on the vegetation of a site, than a Phase 1 survey, but do not go into the detail of a Phase 2 survey.
  • SNCOs – Statutory Nature Conservation Organisations – English Nature, Scottish Natural Heritage, Countryside Council for Wales, Northern Ireland Heritage Service
    Wildlife Trust – organised on a county, urban area or country basis e.g.Sussex Wildlife Trust, London Wildlife Trust, Scottish Wildlife Trust, Gwent Wildlife Trust.
    RSPB – Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.
    LPA - Local Planning Authority
  • This badger turned up in an embankment on the CTRL works in Ashford late November . Thus delayed works in this stretch until July following year. Artificial sett built and sett shut down with sheep netting and one way gates. Sett excavated and JN put hand in hole just to check and there was something warm and furry there – fortunately the blunt end. Off ran the badger without any hi vis or hard hat. Tut tut!
  • Development licence – if, as part of an approved development project, it is planned to capture, disturb, uproot and/or relocate or damage the habitat of a species that is protected under the Habitats Regulations 1994 (such as bats, great crested newts, otters etc.) a “development licence” must be obtained. Before the licence is applied for, appropriate surveys must have been carried out to ensure that the proposed work is based on accurate information. Licence applications should be made to DEFRA, WA, SEERAD or EHS-NH NI.
    Applications must satisfy the following three tests:
    1The development is for the purpose of “preserving public health or public safety of other imperative reasons of over-riding public interest including those of a social or economic nature and beneficial consequences of primary importance for the environment”.
    2The licence granting authority is satisfied “ that there is no satisfactory alternative”.
    3The development will not be “detrimental to the maintenance of the population of the species as a favourable conservation status in their natural range”.
  • BAP Targets – chalk grassland (UK BAP). Vegetated shingle (Sussex BAP) - conditions on a roof mimic the field conditions on the South Downs in many ways – light/pH/moisture etc. Brownfield sites etc. (UK BAP)
    Global issues – Urban Heat Island Effect, storm water amelioration, energy balance–reduces temp. fluctuations+insulation and cooling/air conditioning
  • Jury’s Inn Brighton Station
  • Jury’s Inn Brighton Station
  • Jury’s Inn Brighton Station
  • Working with wildlife for the construction industry

    1. 1. Construction and Ecology, Working with Wildlife Aaron Grainger Senior Ecologist - The Ecology Consultancy
    2. 2. Objectives • • • • Key considerations for wildlife & development Legislation & Planning Policy Protected Species Enhancements
    3. 3. Bio-what?
    4. 4. Construction and wildlife  Direct habitat and species loss  Fragmentation  Disturbance – Light/Noise  BUT - Opportunities/benefits  Landscape design and management
    5. 5. Legislation – principal acts relevant to the UK  Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) (WCA)  The Conservation of Habitats & Species Regulations 2010
    6. 6. WCA 1981  Protects the most important habitats as SSSIs (e.g. Hampstead Heath)  All species of wild bird (Sch 1)  Various species of wild animal (Sch 5)  Some plant species (Sch 8)  Can be hard to navigate…
    7. 7. Conservation of Habitats & Species Regs 2010  Implements both the Birds and Habitats Directives.  Designate and maintain the ecological integrity of a network of protected sites – SACs and SPAs.  Protection of listed species (GCN, Bats, Otter etc).
    8. 8. Wild Birds Directive Special Protection Areas (SPAs)  Thames Basin Heaths  Langstone Harbour Annex I Species  Nightjar  Dunlin  Northern Shoveler
    9. 9. The Habitats Directive  Gives greater protection to a variety of native animals including bats, dormice, great crested newt, and otters.  Important sites are designated SACs. E.g. Solent Maritime
    10. 10. The costs of getting it wrong  A successful prosecution for a wildlife offence may lead to a £5000 fine or six months’ imprisonment per offence.  For example the destruction of a barn owl’s nest with three eggs could result in two years imprisonment (six months for destruction of the nest and for each of the three eggs).
    11. 11. Other important legislation     Protection of Badgers Act 1992 Wild Mammals Protection Act 1996 Hedgerow Regulations 1997 NERC Act 2006
    12. 12. Planning system  National Planning Policy Framework  Minimising impacts on biodiversity and providing net gains in biodiversity where possible  contributing to the Government’s commitment to halt the overall decline in biodiversity  establishing coherent networks that are more resilient to current and future pressures.
    13. 13. Biodiversity Action Plans - BAPs  Convention on Biodiversity (Rio Conference 1992)  Biodiversity : the UK Action Plan  BAPs at the regional, local and corporate levels comprising Habitat Action Plans (HAPs) Species Action Plans (SAPs) Cambridge & Peterborough BAP
    14. 14. UK BAP  Habitats and Species of Principal Importance for Biodiversity  Priority species include bats, skylark, song thrush, great crested newt etc  Section 41 List  Material Consideration
    15. 15. Ecological Survey Scoping survey Look for: designated areas; habitat protected species; habitats that are subject to a HAP; species that are subject to a SAP;
    16. 16. Ecological Survey Phase 1 Habitat Survey Identifies habitats Provides ‘target-notes’ Best done in spring or summer Extended Phase 1 surveys
    17. 17. Ecological Survey Phase 2 Surveys Detailed studies of the important plant and groups Require specialist input Have to be undertaken at: - right season of the year - over a specific number of days, - in appropriate weather - right time of day - and possibly over a period of several years. animal
    18. 18. When to survey?  Spring and summer  Well in advance of any planning submission or works
    19. 19. Survey Calendar
    20. 20. European Protected Species Derogation Tests  No satisfactory alternative  Favourable conservation status maintained  For overriding public interest or public health and safety  Licensing?  Method Statement and Reasoned Statement  Natural England take 30 working days to process
    21. 21. Be Aware  What have we got here then?
    22. 22. Be Aware  Any ideas?
    23. 23. Be Aware  Badger Sett
    24. 24. Great Crested Newt  Largest of three species native to the UK. Widespread but habitat is fragmented  Associated with ponds, woodland, scrub and grassland  Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 + Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010  Offence to kill/injure a GCN  Offence to damage or destroy a breeding or resting place
    25. 25. Bats  There are 18 species of bats in the UK. All native species are insectivorous feeding over hibernate during Nov-March.  Roosting spaces include: attic spaces and crevices in buildings, barns, mature trees, caves and bridges  W&C Act & Cons Regs 2010  Offence to kill/injure or disturb a bat  Offence to damage, destroy or obstruct access to a bat roost
    26. 26. Otter  Dramatic recovery distribution and abundance  W&C Act 1981 & Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations (+Annex II)  Otters are protected from killing or injury and it is an offence to damage, destroy or obstruct their breeding/resting places  Offence to disturb an otter whilst it is occupying a holt
    27. 27. Badgers  Badgers are widely distributed in the UK, with occurring in both rural and sub-urban areas.  Protection of Badgers Act 1992  Illegal to kill/injure badgers or interfere with their setts
    28. 28. Reptiles  6 x Species in UK  Prefer rough grassland, scrub and heathland  Common Lizard, Slow Worm and Grass Snake are the most frequently encountered  Protection under the W&C Act 1981  Sand Lizard/Smooth Snake – EC Habitats Directive
    29. 29. Invasive Species  Japanese Knotweed, Giant Hogweed, Cotoneaster etc.  Schedule 9 of the W&C Act 1981 (as amended)  Illegal to plant or cause to grow in the wild i.e. spread from your site to adjacent land  Controlled waste
    30. 30. Licensing and protected species  Survey licence - surveyors of protected species will need to hold a survey licence.  Development licence - required if capturing, disturbing, uprooting or re-locating, or damaging the habitat of, a species protected under the Habitats Regulations 2010.  Conservation licence – for works to conserve any species on Sch. 5 WCA 1981 (as amended)
    31. 31. BREEAM & Code for Sustainable Homes  BREEAM New Construction 2011  CfSH - Mandatory for new homes since 2008  Ecology is one of nine sustainability categories in the assessment process (10-12% of total score)  Aim – To mitigate the impact of the built environment on ecology/enhance the site
    32. 32. BREEAM & Code for Sustainable Homes  Ecologist undertakes site assessment  Prepares ecology report and/or completes template  Likely number of achievable credits is detailed in the report along with associated recommendations/enhanceme nts  Based on ecological value of both the existing site and proposed development
    33. 33. Mitigation Solutions
    34. 34. Creative Ecology
    35. 35. Creative Ecology
    36. 36. Living Roofs – Right Roof In The Right Place
    37. 37. Creative Ecology
    38. 38. Integral Swift Nest Boxes (Photo. copyright Erich Kaiser / courtesy London's Swifts")
    39. 39. Invertebrates
    40. 40. Invertebrates
    41. 41. Bat Boxes BCT / ECL Briefing
    42. 42. Bird boxes
    43. 43. The Future?  Landscape Scale Conservation  Ecosystem Services  Biodiversity Off-Setting  Green Infrastructure
    44. 44. What do we offer?  Experience & expertise  Commitment to working with the client  Fostering good relationship with consultees and stakeholders  Value for money  Team of 35+ Ecologists in offices in London, Lewes, Norwich and Edinburgh
    45. 45. Questions?
    46. 46. www.ecologyconsultancy.co.uk

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