Wether Hill Post Consent Monitoring
Scottish Power Renewables
RPS was commissioned to implement a programme of post-consent monitoring at the ScottishPower Renewables Wether Hill Wind Farm in Dumfries and Galloway.
Due to the presence of black grouse and peregrine falcon (both species of high conservation concern) during baseline surveys in 2001, the conditions of the planning permission for the wind farm required the development of a Bird Monitoring Programme (BMP) under a Section 75 Agreement. The BMP aims to monitor the ongoing status of these species at the operational wind farm site.
Black grouse surveys monitor the species in the context of the local population in co-operation with RSPB Scotland. Although this population is in decline, this is not thought to be due to the construction or operation of the wind farm.
Peregrine surveys monitor the breeding success at the site on an annual basis, and attempts are made to assess the turnover of breeding adults. Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tags have been placed on adult and young peregrines. So far, the operation of the wind farm does not appear to have had a measurable effect on the breeding behaviour or nesting success of peregrines. These surveys were undertaken in conjunction with the local raptor study group.