Environment & Ecology
Mitigation Management, Carbon Assessment & Bio-Diversity Offsetting
A long term 20 year mitigation project was required as part of a 7 million tonne coal extraction project in south west Scotland. The mitigation area extends over 1600 hectares and much of the site and adjacent areas are in a Special Protection Area (SPA), primarily for their ornithological interest, as well as in an SAC and SSSI.
EES also provided the bio-diversity offsetting assessment and compensation mitigation for a new adjacent survace mining project, situated on a 47 ha peat bog. Mitigation design included the method for moving intact turves and associated bulk peat for the whole site to selected receptor sites, as well as design for 20 ha of hydrological improvement by grip blocking. This continued into the operational phase, monitoring the operations on an ongoing basis which continued until the demise of Scottish Coal in 2013.
EES were re-appointed in 2016 to review and revise the mitigation scheme, and to manage the on-going mitigation project on behalf of a steering group consisting of the local council and Scottish Government, Scottish Natural Heritage, RSPB Scotland, within a wider restoration scheme managed by Mine Restoration Ltd (MRL).
As well as coordinating a range of specialists in moorland management, ornithology, vegetation and mammal monitoring, EES continues to contribute its own expertise in ecology, peat and other large scale restoration, design and practical implementation.
EES's integrated and practical approach to environmental management is a particular feature of this project, and within the last few months the revised mitigation scheme has resulted in moorland peat mitigation including 72kms of drain blocking and other hydrological improvements, with more planned. Grazing control, predator management, tree planting to benefit black grouse and ecological monitoring are all included in the mitigation management scheme.
And the benefits
Efficient project management has enabled the mitigation review to progress smoothly with the confidence of the mitigation management steering group and regulators. The revised mitigation scheme has been an important component in the successful recent planning application for the restoration of Powharnal site, which is now being implemented by MRL with the support of the Scottish Government.