ecology habitats marine

Ecology Due Diligence

Hydrock on behalf of Wales and West Utilities

Keystone Ecology were contracted to address all ecology issues in respect of proposed remediation works at Gosport Oil Fuel Depot adjacent to Portsmouth Harbour Ramsar Site, Special Protection
Area (SPA) and Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

What did we do?

  • Undertook a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA) followed by a Badger Survey,
    Bat Roost Inspection and Characterisation Survey of all buildings, a Habitat
    Suitability assessment of all waterbodies for Great Crested Newts and a Marine
    Intertidal Survey to identify potential ecology constraints and the need for further
    survey/mitigation to ensure legal compliance.
  • Produced a Precautionary Working Method Statement (PWMS) in respect of
    habitats and species associated with Portsmouth Harbour Ramsar Site, SPA and
    SSSI, which was to be affected by preliminary foreshore investigations to facilitate
    strengthening of the sea defenses.

How did we do it?

  • We liaised with relevant regulators and Hydrock to devise a working methodology
    that could be set out in a PWMS to enable cone penetration tests and shallow trial
    pits to be carried out along the foreshore and sea wall whilst avoiding or ensuring a
    very low level risk of harming birds or disturbing/destroying Golden Samphire; both
    qualifying features of the designated site.
  • Additional engagement with Hydrock regarding working practices and the timing
    of these was carried out to achieve the avoidance of other ecology constraints
    identified in the PEA, for example, invasive species, nesting birds, Otter, Water Vole
    and reptiles.

What were the outcomes?

  • Regulators approved our approach to works that could have had an adverse impact
    on Portsmouth Harbour Ramsar Site, SPA and SSSI.
  • A number of costly further surveys and potential programme delays were avoided as
    a result of our recommendations.
  • The project was completed on time and on budget.
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