Finding out whether the strategies implemented on site are effective is important. Without the knowledge gained from ecological monitoring we have little feedback on the effectiveness of the ecological design and mitigation strategies that are implemented on sites. Historically this was overlooked but in recent years ecological monitoring has now become one of the cornerstones of a mitigation plan.
Monitoring allows us to identify and implement remedial measures as well as collate the information and use that to drive forward best practice.
How we can help
We have the equipment and skills to set up and complete monitoring exercises and the experience to design cost effective, scientifically robust data collection. This ensures that ecological monitoring is more than just a box ticking exercise but a worthwhile and important aspect of a project.
Monitoring typically begins as a project nears completion of construction. Many projects will only require a short period of post-construction monitoring, whilst others need to be regularly inspected for the lifetime of their operation.
Projects involving protected species licences, particularly bat licences, also require post-completion monitoring shortly after completion to identify any need for remedial works and to provide feedback to improve best practice across the industry.
Our ecological monitoring work takes us across the UK. The standard methodologies that we have developed allow comparison of biodiversity performance of different arrays and is also beginning to build up a picture of the impacts that arrays are having on biodiversity across the country. The portfolio of sites that we manage is representative of the distribution of arrays across the country. We are working with a number of solar developers as well as Lancashire and York Universities on tools to continue to improve the biodiversity led management on solar arrays.
We publish an annual report on the findings of our biodiversity monitoring known as ‘Solarview’ which aggregates the data collected over the past 12 months of survey. Follow the links to find the 2018 , 2019 and 2020 Solarview reports.
Following on from the successful completion of a great crested newt translocation project in Wellington, Somerset on behalf of Bloor Homes we have been monitoring the new mitigation ponds created as part of the ecological strategy. This is a requirement of the licence held by Polly Luscombe one of our principal ecologists.
Over the past few years we are pleased to have seen the numbers of great crested newts (and other amphibians) on the site grow and we now consistently record a larger population than we recorded prior to the new housing development being built. A mitigation success story!