Ecological Planning & Research
road & other infrastructure projects
key areas of work
A38 Dobwalls Bypass
Parsons Brinckerhoff (on behalf of Highways Agency)
As ecological consultants for the construction of an approximately 4km by-pass around the village of Dobwalls in Cornwall, we undertook extensive surveys, most notably of bats, but also reptile, Great Crested Newt and Dormouse surveys, and prepared the ecological chapter of the Environmental Statement. We presented ecological evidence at Public Inquiry and successfully negotiated with Natural England ensuring no statutory objection to the scheme.
We were actively involved in the implementation of the project, including the detailed design work and specifications for the Ecological Design. We successfully obtained the relevant protected species licences and were responsible for on the ground supervision of the works. As part of the package to mitigate the impacts of the road on protected species measures had to be introduced to enable bats to commute from their roosting sites into the wider landscape to feed. In conjunction with the Highways Agency’s engineers we designed two bespoke bat crossings to enable bats to safely cross the bypass. These are now operational and their effectiveness is being monitored, together with monitoring of reptiles and Dormouse.
Shinfield Eastern Relief Road (SERR)
University of Reading, Taylor Wimpey and David Wilson Homes
As ecological consultants for the South of the M4 Strategic Development Location proposals in Wokingham District, EPR carried out a range of survey, assessment and mitigation work in support of the proposed Shinfield Eastern Relief Road (SERR), designed to take traffic related to Reading and the M4 out of Shinfield village centre and around to the Arborfield Road.
Our work began with carrying out a suite of surveys, including in relation to; bats, Badger, Dormouse, reptiles, breeding birds and botanical features such as hedgerows. We then produced the Ecology chapter of the submitted Environmental Statement, along with mitigation and management plans to address negative effects on ecological features, and gave evidence at Public Inquiry.
The scheme is now consented, and is in the process of being built.
Bexhill to Hastings Link Road
East Sussex County Council
EPR was commissioned by East Sussex County Council to undertake a number of surveys along the route of the proposed 5.6km Bexhill to Hastings Link Road. The surveys were intended to supplement information already collected by other consultants to inform and Environmental Statement and assist in designing the detailed mitigation packages for the species affected including providing information to obtain protected species licenses.
Given the large scale and nature of the area affected by the proposals a series of landscape scale survey strategies had to be designed to ensure that an accurate picture of how the individual species were using the site was obtained.
In 2008 the road was given the go-ahead, subject to legal agreement and a number of conditions, including
measures to reduce environmental impact. Site clearance began in 2012 and work is continuing. The road, now
officially to be called Combe Valley Way, was due to open in May 2015.
Radlett Strategic Rail Freight Interchange
EPR was commissioned by Helislough Ltd to provide ecological services in connection with a proposal for a Strategic Rail Freight Interchange (SRFI) and a Country Park to the south of St. Albans, Hertfordshire from the outset in 2003.
EPR carried out all the baseline surveys for the proposed development site and for a series of Country Park land parcels over 3 years, including a Phase 1 Habitat Survey, a comprehensive study of breeding and wintering birds to obtain baseline information on populations of important wading birds (including breeding Lapwing and Redshank and wintering Golden Plover), protected species surveys included those for Great Crested
Newts which were colonising recently abandoned silt lagoons on the site, and surveys for bats, reptiles and invertebrates.
As a core member of the project team EPR provided advice not only with respect to the ecological impacts of the scheme, but also significant contributions to the strategic development of the proposals. This included mitigation and management proposals which involved the restoration of parts of the Ver Valley, forming the Country Park, through grazing management, principally for nature conservation rather than for agricultural purposes. This formed the basis of the Ecological chapter of the Environmental Statement (ES) which EPR prepared.
We also provided evidence at Public Inquiry to demonstrate the deliverability of the mitigation proposals for acid grassland and bird interests, and that the mitigation proposals would provide nature conservation benefits over and above those which already exist.
Medina Estuary, Isle of Wight
Proposals for a Marine Transfer Facility across intertidal mudflat designated as SPA/Ramsar/SAC. EPR prepared the ecological chapter for the ES assessing the effects of construction and operation on wintering waterfowl. Following consent, EPR undertook a 5 year monitoring programme to determine the actual effects of the marine transfer facility on wintering birds of the SPA, including behavioural observations of how birds reacted to the presence of the structure in terms of feeding and roosting, and the effect of the presence of the barge when docking.