Applied Ecology was appointed to provide ecological clerk of works support to the construction of the Selkirk Flood Protection Scheme in the Scottish Borders.
The £2.3m construction project was made up of 38 work sections within five key areas of Selkirk and St Mary’s Loch along the Ettrick Water, a tributary of the River Tweed. Work included construction of clay flood embankments, reinforced concrete walls, sheet piling and rock armour river bank protection.
Applied Ecology carried out a range of pre-commencement protected fauna surveys to verify the scope of ecological protection required to be incorporated into the project construction method statements.
Protected species mitigation was required in relation to nesting birds, otters Lutra lutra and river lamprey Lampetra fluviatilis. An extensive stretch of the river flood defence engineering work had to be completed under the auspices of a Scottish Natural Heritage (as was) mitigation licence in relation to otter that Applied Ecology successfully obtained and implemented.
Throughout the two-year construction programme, Applied Ecology provided pragmatic and timely advice regarding the avoidance of disturbance of protected animal species, carried out advance work checks (e.g. for nesting birds), and the rescue and translocation of lamprey and other fish species. We also oversaw the construction of two artificial otter holts and advised on measures for protecting the quality of water in the river.