Ecological surveys and mitigation for water vole

Typical vegetation in need of clearance
A typical water vole burrow

Lincolnshire Ecologists, Scarborough Nixon Associates, are conducting a series of water vole surveys along the project onshore cable corridor over the next two to three weeks, working on behalf of Triton Knoll’s onshore cable installer J Murphy & Sons.

Additional surveys for water vole will also be carried out at the onshore substation location on behalf of lead contractor Siemens Transmission and Distribution Ltd (STDL) by their ecologists TEP.

This is part of a programme of pre-construction works in support of the onshore Triton Knoll Electrical System, and in preparation for the start of construction this summer.

Teams will be visible at various sites as they carry out surveys of specific drains and ditches crossed by the cable corridor, in order to identify areas where water voles could be present. The surveyors will be accompanied by engineers from the contractors

In locations where water voles are confirmed or potentially present, the vegetation will be carefully cut in such a way as to encourage the displacement of water vole from the construction corridor prior to the onset of the water vole breeding season. This will involve an initial search by the ecologists to locate and mark any water vole burrows, followed by cutting of the bank-side and ditch vegetation. Water voles in the area will then be left to naturally disperse for a 5-10 day period, after which any burrows would be subject to a further final search, providing safe access is available.

The vegetation will then be maintained to ensure water vole do not re-inhabit the construction corridor.

All work would be supervised by an ecologist and will be conducted under a water vole class licence issued by Natural England. It is likely there may be some minor, short-lived noise from the day to day operation of the plant involved.

Post Author: Mark Fleming