Independent Ecological Consultancy
Strathy wind farms
Client Scottish & Southern Energy
Waterside Ecology is employed by Scottish & Southern Energy to carry out survey and monitoring of fish populations, fish habitats, aquatic invertebrates and hydrochemistry in the River Strathy in Sutherland, in relation to two proposed wind farms. The proposed wind farms would be constructed in conifer forests in the renowned Flow Countries of Caithness and Sutherland. By placing turbines in conifer forest, impact on blanket bog and wetland habitats would be minimised.
Particular sensitivities relate to potential effects of tree felling and wind farm construction on acid-sensitive watercourses and the species, particularly salmon and brook lamprey (both Annex II species on the EU Habitats Directive), that they support. Data collected to date are being used to develop appropriate long term monitoring strategies should the wind farm developments proceed. Fisheries data have been provided to the local fishery Board and will be used to assist in long-term management of the fisheries. The population of brook lampreys in the River Strathy was unknown prior to our work beginning, emphasising the wider value of surveys carried out for purposes of EIA.