NBC Environment were approached late February 2019, to provide assistance on a proposed development on Trentham Lakes West and Trentham Lakes Central sites. NBC Environment assisted Prosurv, and the Client St Modwen, to understand legislation, mitigate ground nesting birds, during a critical period where the Client was placing an order to commence a large industrial scheme, but needed assistance during the lead in period, so that the main contractor inheriting the development site wasn’t delayed during the first few weeks onsite.
Through several breeding bird surveys, It had been identified, that historically, several species of ground nesting birds were frequenting the site and that there was every possibility they would breed if left without mitigation. As these ground nesting birds are protected by law, should they nest on site, there was a risk operations would have to stop, or, be significantly delayed until any young had fledged.
NBC sought to advise a bird control programme that would manage that risk as far as possible, and, minimise the potential for these protected birds to nest. It was deemed essential to the success of the project, to introduce a bird mitigation programme which would encourage ground nesting birds onto to an alternate breeding site, developed by the client, where they were more likely to be successful, and, ensure success of the species in subsequent years.
When dealing with ground nesting birds such Skylarks (Alauda Arvensis,) and Lapwings (Vanellus Vanellus), it essential that mitigation be introduced that covered all daylight hours. Our experienced mitigation team, using both specially trained dogs and Falcons, were put to work prior to nesting season commencing (Typically March to August) to ensure the best possible chance of success.
NBC Environment utilised innovative techniques and daily reporting to ensure that all legislation was followed and records kept to protect the client. We carried out any necessary liaison with the local planning authority ecology departments, members of the local community who were interested, and also, others who were more active from a perspective of looking to complain to delay development. Earth works were confirmed for an April/May start – the client attended site at the end of April to ensure these works could go ahead and to assess the site. NBC had successfully carried out the mitigation as agreed and were in a position to hand a nest free site over to the client.