Environmentally Sustainable Systems Ltd. (trading as ESS Ecology) has worked for Greater Gabbard for ten years undertaking nine years of boat based ornithological surveys and marine mammal observations. I have worked personally with Paul Gill for the past four and a half years.
The work involved 3-4 day monthly surveys following set transects through both Greater Gabbard windfarm arrays and the adjacent Galloper windfarm site, monthly and annual reports. The boat based surveys were always planned in suitable weather windows in order to complete the surveys efficiently in one mobilisation. ESS Ecology has an exemplary SHE record on Gabbard with just one recorded incident (in 2006). The organisation prior to each survey was excellently conducted, all required documentation submitted in advance allowing enough time for all internal departments to approve as required, and post-survey notification and comprehensive monthly survey reports describing the relevance and importance of all notable observations, patterns and trends in bird flight heights.
The ESS Ecology reports were also produced to a very high quality in addition to being received in a timely manner, which I have found to be an uncommon trait in many other instances. Paul was always willing to provide expert advice and guidance when dealing with regulators and our other consultants and valued assistance in closing out queries.
Rebecca Clough, Environmental Advisor SSE
ESS Ecology have been conducting and managing the boat-based bird surveys for Greater Gabbard Offshore Wind Limited (GGOWL) and Galloper Wind Farm Limited (GWFL) at the Greater Gabbard and Galloper Wind Farms since 2008. Boat-based transect surveys have been conducted on a monthly basis, with additional work focusing on characterising the behaviour of lesser black-backed gulls around turbines using offshore Vantage Point surveys in 2011.
ESS Ecology provide monthly bird density estimates, marine mammal encounter rates and reports upon the findings of each survey. In addition ESS Ecology have conducted statistical comparisons of bird densities and populations between different years and different parts of the wind farms and overall boat survey area, and have contributed to the FEPA Licence Annual and Quarterly Monitoring Reports.
ESS Ecology have consistently met all requirements relating to health, safety and environmental standards, and have also complied with the agreed delivery of surveys and deliverables, which have always been of the standards required by regulators. Overall we are pleased with the services supplied to us by ESS Ecology.
Kate Harvey – SSE Renewables
Eneco Wind UK
This letter confirms the Ornithology Survey Services provided to Eneco on the proposed Navitus Bay Wind Park (formerly West of Wight) Round 3 – Zone 7, between December 2009 and November 2011.
ESS Ecology conducted and managed the boat-based bird transect surveys on a monthly basis, with additional work focusing on characterising the passage of migrant species during the spring and autumn of 2011. This data has been used to establish the baseline status of the zone and inform the EIA.
ESS Ecology provided monthly counts of species encountered and reports detailing and discussing the findings of each survey. In addition ESS Ecology have conducted comparisons of bird populations during the first nine months to characterise different parts of the wind farm zone to inform the Zone Appraisal Planning report and subsequent identification of the project site. ESS Ecology have also designed and implemented a spring and autumn sampling strategy to quantify the passage of migratory birds through the boat survey area.
We confirm ESS Ecology met the required deliverables of the project and will be included on ITT lists for similar works in future.
Stuart Grant – Eneco Wind UK Ltd
Royal Haskoning contracted ESS Ecology to provide statistical analysis and interpretation of ornithological data collected to inform the Environmental Impact Assessment of the Thanet Offshore Wind Farm. ESS Ecology performed the services requested of them diligently and professionally; ultimately submitting a fit for purpose technical report that formed part of the successful consent application documents.
Rob Staniland – Royal HaskoningDHV
This letter confirms the Bird and Mammal EIA services provided to wpd Offshore on the UK Round 3 Zone 6 Hastings Offshore Wind Farm Zone (subsequently renamed to Rampion Offshore Wind Farm Zone) during 2009.
ESS Ecology researched and wrote a Scoping Report Chapter covering seabirds and mammals (marine mammals and bats) for Hastings Round 3 OWF. This aimed to meet relevant legislation, best practice guidance and stakeholder expectations. The ESS Ecology team helped wpd reach full agreement on survey and assessment methods, including the identification of suitable reference areas, by engaging with stakeholders (JNCC, Natural England & RSPB) through teleconference, submission of drafts, other correspondence and face to face meetings.
In addition ESS Ecology conducted and managed the first seabird and marine mammal surveys of the zone. When the zone was awarded to E.ON by the Crown Estate, the information collected and reports provided by ESS Ecology were made available to E.ON.
All services were completed to our absolute satisfaction and agreed timescales were adhered to.
ESS Ecology will be our first contact for EIA should we have another opportunity for offshore wind in the UK. The company provided exceptional high quality service, and it would be a pleasure to cooperate with them again.”
Jochen Dirksmeyer – WPD
Environmentally Sustainable Systems Ltd. (ESS) conducted and managed the boat-based bird surveys for the Sheringham Shoal offshore wind farm site and reference area between March and September 2004. Boat-based transect surveys were undertaken 8 times during this period. This data was used to establish the baseline status of the site, and was included within the Environmental Statement for the wind farm.
ESS provided monthly counts of species encountered and reports detailing and discussing the findings of each survey, including vessel types which contributed to the Vessel Traffic Survey.
ESS met all requirements relating to health, safety and environmental standards, and complied with the agreed delivery dates of surveys and standards of deliverables.
We were satisfied with the provided services.
Albert van der Hem – formerly Project Director, Evelop
We commissioned ESS Ecology to conduct a River Habitat Survey (RHS) following a request from SNH to assess the impact on migrating fish species of a site on the River Clyde, Glasgow.
We were pleased with the quality of the report provided and that it met the requirements of the appropriate bodies, such as the local authority and the statutory consultees. They were able to provide the required report to budget, within the agreed timescale and provided us with ongoing information on a regular basis.
We were happy with the overall service received and would have no hesitation in using ESS Ecology again and recommending them to others.”
Jackie Maclean – Ironside Farrar
RWE Innogy Ltd
Environmentally Sustainable Systems Ltd. (ESS) conducted and managed the boat-based bird surveys for the North Hoyle Offshore wind farm (Britain’s first) from March 2006 to March 2007 and wrote the ornithology chapters of the final two Food & Environment Protection Act (FEPA) Monitoring Reports. The final 2006-2007 report included an illustrated summary of five years of monitoring, statistical analyses and interpretation of changes in bird numbers and distribution, and closed off the Food & Environmental Protection Act (FEPA) license conditions. This work culminated in a stakeholder seminar to the regulators Countryside Council for Wales (CCW) and Maritime & Coastal Agency (MCA), the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC), other regulatory bodies and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).
During the same period and continuing up to August 2009, ESS conducted and managed the boat-based bird surveys for the Rhyl Flats offshore wind farm site and reference area between March and September 2004. In addition advice on mitigation for the presence of scoter seaducks enabled construction work to take place during otherwise restricted periods.
ESS met all requirements relating to health, safety and environmental standards, and complied with the agreed delivery dates of surveys and standards of deliverables. Overall we are pleased with the services supplied to us by ESS, and would not hesitate to recommend them to offshore developers seeking bird survey services.
Carol Cooper, RWE Innogy