Wind Turbine Appraisals
Wold Ecology staff have over 10 years’ experience in ecological impact assessments for wind turbines and wind farms, ranging from large-scale contracts to small-scale individual turbines for landowners.
The range of surveys Wold Ecology offers are applied on a project-specific basis to suit a client’s requirements.
The primary aim of the ecological surveys is to identify any ecological constraints which will need to be taken into account during the design, construction and operational phases of the proposed wind turbine or turbines.
Specific wind turbine survey methods have been designed by researchers to enable ecological data to be collected, which is then used to assess impacts. Examples include:
- Vantage point surveys for bird species at risk e.g. wildfowl and birds of prey (see Avian surveys).
- Bat surveys, including transect monitoring, to establish flight lines in and around turbines.
Bat Transect Surveys
During a survey, the aim is to ensure that the whole transect takes no more than three hours to cover, starting 15 minutes before sunset. For small sites, two circuits can be achieved during each survey session.
A transect route will incorporate habitat features with potential for use by foraging and commuting bats. These include woodland edges, hedgerows, lines of trees, aquatic corridors, ponds and grassland.
To ensure that best practice is followed, an automated recording device will be left on site to supplement the bat transect surveys and provide additional information regarding bat usage and species.