Longridge Road Energy Centre, Preston
Avian Ecology joined the project team in 2018 to advise and provide ecological input into an Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) for a proposed energy recovery facility at Red Scar Business Park in Preston.
A Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA) was completed by Avian Ecology in September 2018. The habitats on site were dominated by semi-improved neutral/marshy grassland, with some scrub and tall ruderal vegetation. Similar habitats extended into the wider survey area, where there were also a number of ponds and areas of semi-natural broadleaved woodland.
Ecological constraints associated with on-site habitats and protected species were fairly minimal for the proposed development and could be addressed through the implementation of Reasonable Avoidance Measures Statements (RAMS). However, the Site formed part of Fishwick Bottoms Local Nature Reserve (LNR) and contained habitat corridors connecting the site to Pope Lane Ponds Biological Heritage Site (BHS), Boilton Wood LNR and the nationally important Red Scar and Tun Brook Woods SSSI adjacent to the east. Therefore, an in-depth assessment of likely impacts on these designated wildlife sites was required.
Working closely with other disciplines in the project team, including landscape, noise and air quality a detailed Construction Environment Management Plan (CEMP) was proposed to minimise impacts to these designations. Biodiversity protection measures included habitat protection and creation, pollution, drainage, noise, dust and vibration control. On the assumption that the CEMP would be implemented it was concluded that impacts on the designated wildlife site would be minimal.
Avian Ecology consulted with various consultees including the Wildlife Trust and a biodiversity enhancements package was designed which included the creation of “brown-roof” habitats, wetland swales and native species planting including wych elm to benefit the white-letter hairstreak butterfly.