When sites have the potential to impact negatively on protected species, special measures should be taken to protect these species and ensue their continued viability.
See the examples below for how one site achieved this:
- The site passed along the fringe of a Whooper Swan (amber listed species) winter feeding site and the contractors took full responsibility for the protection of the species.
- A Whooper Swan Working Group was created with key stakeholders to explore options for habitat enhancement to improve the long-term viability of the Whooper Swan winter feeding site.
- The Whooper Swan Working Group developed agri-environment schemes with landowners within the complex to top-up any existing countryside management schemes and to remove fences to increase field size making those fields more attractive for whooper swan usage.
- The Whooper Swan Working Group also assessed the potential for showing people Whooper Swans by creating a tasteful hide and viewing facility.
- Through collaboration with Whooper Swan Working Group, the contractors were able to immediately communicate any feedback from field studies to the site teams and sub-contractors via advice notes, tool box talks, inductions and method statements to avoid disturbing the whooper swan during construction.
- The contractors avoided entering certain fields even after the exclusion period and avoided disruption during the exclusion by keeping equipment, plant and people low key until the whooper swans had moved out of immediate area. No works took place within fields where swans were present and no works impacted the adjacent fields. During construction the contractors carried out monitoring of whooper swans and no issues were raised.
- To add further value, whooper swan counts for winter 2017/2018 were reported as the second highest numbers to date for the Toome Complex.
Monitor report. GRAHAM Farrans JV. County Antrim. May 2018.