Hornsea Offshore Wind Farm: Onshore Cable Route Ornithology Assessment
RPS was commissioned by SMartWind to provide an ornithological assessment (for HRA and EIA) of potential impacts from the installation of an onshore cable route in Lincolnshire.
This site presented several ecological challenges as the cable route is planned to cross a European protected intertidal area as well as ~35km of inshore agricultural land. Furthermore, a number of bird species of conservation concern use the intertidal area in large numbers.
Assessment was divided between terrestrial birds which were predominantly active on the site as summer breeders, and the wader species which were primarily winter visitors foraging or roosting on the shoreline
Breeding bird surveys were conducted using standard methods recommended by the BTO. The initial survey was used to identify areas of high activity and conduct more detailed work at these locations. Waders and wildfowl were assessed by fortnightly surveys which recorded bird numbers and behaviour over a series of tidal states
Using this data to pinpoint critical times and locations of bird activity, RPS conducted EIA and HRA assessments and made recommendations for spatial and temporal mitigation measures to avoid disturbing highly sensitive species