Preliminary Ecological Appraisal At Link Logistics Park

Commencement date – November 2020

Completion Date – September 2022

E3P where asked to conducts a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal at a development site which was previously occupied by Bridgewater Paper Mill, which was later demolished and left unmanaged. The client intended to redevelop the site into two large storage and distribution units, which posed some challenges, including the potential presence of nesting peregrine falcons and bats within the buildings to be demolished, and the potential impacts to Mersey Estuary Special Protection Area (SPA), Ramsar, and Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

To address these challenges, Firethorn Developments Ltd commissioned E3P to conduct a detailed Preliminary Ecological Appraisal, monitoring surveys of the potential peregrine falcon nesting location, Nocturnal Bat Surveys, and a Habitat Regulations Assessment. E3P’s Ecology team worked closely with the client throughout the process to identify and mitigate potential risks and adapt their working methods accordingly.

E3P also provided detailed advice and Precautionary Working Methods to ensure that remediation and site clearance works could proceed without disturbing any potential species until respective Ecology surveys had been undertaken. The surveys confirmed that bats were absent from the buildings to be demolished, and no significant effects on the Mersey Estuary SPA, Ramsar, and SSSI were anticipated.

To prevent any potential disturbance to nesting peregrine falcons during construction operations, E3P Ecology team conducted two monitoring surveys between February and August to determine their presence and implemented Precautionary Working Methods. The surveys confirmed that peregrine falcons were flying over the site and perching on adjacent structures, but no evidence of nesting was recorded within or adjacent to the site.

Despite the challenges, E3P completed the works within the planning program and provided technical assistance to the client to inform the planning application and discharge associated planning conditions. E3P’s added value included additional detailed assessments and mitigation strategies to meet the client’s targets.