I’ve been on tour in North Wales recently looking at four small projects for Dwr Cymru Welsh Water. In all cases, these were small pipeline schemes and my job was to look for any ecological constraints on the project. These types of projects don’t need planning permission, but DCWW are aware of their responsibilities towards wildlife, and protected species in particular, so they are keen to have everything checked out to make sure they stay within the law.Sites included an industrial estate and suburban area with lots of ponds – but thankfully no great crested newt records as the area is on reclaimed saltmarsh. I also went into the countryside with a short pipeline route through fields and country lanes, which did have a very nice looking potential great crested newt pond. Next I was back in town with a site adjacent to a main A road and housing estate, which surprisingly was next to ancient woodland with loads of wild garlic – a nice find in such a built-up area. Finally, the fourth site was a pipeline on another industrial estate, this time with a known great crested newt population in the area and a former mitigation pond within 100m.
By working with DCWW to understand their proposals in detail, including construction methods, I have been able to help them manage ecological constraints on these projects in a pragmatic way and reduce ecological impact to a minimum. Collaborative working is definitely the way forward 🙂