Kincraig-Dalraddy A9 upgrade

RPS provided Environmental Clerk of Works (ECoW) services to Wills Bros/John Paul Joint Venture for the Kincraig-Dalraddy A9 upgrade. The scheme passes through the Cairngorms National Park, Alvie sites of special scientific interest and a tributary of the River Spey. Working with the Joint Venture partners, our ECoW received high praise resulting in a score of 9/10 (“Exceptional”) for Environmental Protection under the Considerate Contractor Scheme.

Key details

Project name
Kincraig-Dalraddy A9 upgrade

Client
Wills Bros/John Paul Joint Venture

Location
Cairngorms National Park, Scotland

Services provided

  • Ecology
  • Environmental Clerk of Works

Challenge

Passing through the Cairngorms National Park, Alvie SSSI and a tributary of the River Spey SAC, the scheme required the highly sensitive management of numerous protected habitats and species. In particular, hairy wood ants, red squirrels and otters.

The tight construction schedule meant increased pressure to identify and advise on deliverable mitigation measures that would meet the UK and European legislation concerned, without causing project delays.

Kincraig-Dalraddy A9 upgrade - Project image.jpg

Solution

  • Translocation of some 45 hairy wood ant nests in collaboration with the Cairngorm National Park Authority - Hairy wood ants, included on the Scottish Biodiversity List as a prior species for conservation and a key stone species of woodland ecosystems, are threatened through habitat loss. The successful translocation of these nests is a key conservation action for the species and was praised by the National Park Authority.
  • Sensitively felling of mature Scot’s pine forestry containing red squirrels in consultation with SNH - Red squirrels are protected both under UK and European legislation. The sensitive removal of forestry ensured a negligible impact to the species and the area’s native population, whilst allowing construction of the development to continue on schedule.
  • Installation and monitoring of otter fencing surrounding the development to protect this qualifying species of the adjacent River Spey SAC - Our pragmatic advice ensured otters were protected from the development whilst continuing to successfully use their existing territories. Monitoring gave confidence to SNH that the development continued to cause no Likely Significant Effect to this qualifying species of the nearby SAC.
  • ECoW monitoring of compliance with all relevant environmental documents - Working with the Joint Venture partners, our ECoW received high praise resulting in a score of 9/10 (“Exceptional”) for Environmental Protection under the Considerate Contractor Scheme.

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