The challenge

Wild bird species are protected under a range of national and international regulations, making ornithology a key consideration for many developments within marine, coastal and terrestrial environments. Developments can significantly impact bird populations in numerous ways, including via direct mortality (for example from collisions), disturbance, displacement, loss of habitat or effects on their prey. Importantly, assessment of such impacts is required irrespective of whether or not they concern populations associated with designated sites. The requirements for assessments involving populations that are qualifying features of internationally designated sites (such as Special Protection Areas and Ramsar sites) can be particularly stringent.

Our approach

The impartial and objective advice that our ornithology experts offer ensures that clients are supported through the entire development process from conception to construction and beyond, to cover any operational monitoring requirements and ultimately decommissioning.

Working in partnership with our clients and wider project teams, we adopt a robust, science-led, approach to our advice and services that is underpinned by long-standing involvement in applied ornithological research and a thorough understanding of the latest science in the field.

The Royal HaskoningDHV ornithology team aims to:

  • Provide specialist technical support and advice throughout a project life–cycle
  • Identify potential ornithology constraints and consent risks early in the planning stage
  • Assess and identify suitable means for reducing potential impacts and, where necessary, devise appropriate mitigation
  • Design, manage and report on post-consent monitoring programmes
  • Provide cost-effective advice at all stages and reduce the risks of adverse financial and commercial effects on project programmes, delivery and budget
  • Minimise the risks of adverse impacts to important bird species and populations. 

Sector expertise

The experience and skills of the Royal HaskoningDHV team mean that we are able to deliver an extensive range of ornithology support services, across a number of sectors including: 

  • Renewables (offshore and onshore wind, wave and tidal)
  • Port and harbour developments
  • Infrastructure, such as nuclear power stations
  • Habitat and species management, including habitat creation and compensation schemes
  • UK and international projects

Our expertise

Our ornithology team includes internationally recognised experts with strong science backgrounds, as well as previous experience of working within key stakeholder organisations and working with statutory and non-statutory consultees in various capacities.

The team is experienced in providing a wide range of impact assessments and has detailed knowledge and understanding of regulatory requirements, legislation, policy and guidance. With our expertise in survey design, statistical analyses and modelling, more specialist requirements – such as those that can arise under certain post-consent monitoring obligations for example – can be fulfilled. The high level of technical expertise within the team provides the capacity to support clients whose projects face particularly complex challenges, which have previously included judicial review and public inquiry.

Our services

As part of Royal HaskoningDHV’s multi-disciplinary environment team, our ornithology experts work alongside specialists in ecology, landscape, air quality, geology, heritage and archaeology, noise and vibration, traffic and transport, carbon and sustainability, and EIA and consenting. Whether your projects are UK or internationally based, we can provide a full range of ornithology services that can be tailored to meet your needs. These include:

  • Site appraisal, screening and scoping
  • Statutory consultee and stakeholder engagement
  • Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) and Environmental Statements (ES)
  • Habitat Regulations Assessment/Appraisal (HRA)
  • Desk-based appraisals, assessments and associated technical reporting
  • Survey and study designs, coordination of data collection and technical reporting
  • Statistical data analyses and modelling
  • Monitoring and mitigation strategies
  • Subcontractor procurement, coordination and management
  • Expert witness for inquiries and hearings
  • Specialist technical reviews and advice, due diligence
  • Development of industry guidance