10.1.1 To carry out construction works in such a way as to avoid unnecessary impacts to valuable habitats and species, or to control and limit construction impacts in line with the Environmental Statement and in the case of the Special Protection Areas and Special Areas of Conservation the Appropriate Assessments, through development of appropriate working methods and implementation of appropriate mitigation measures.
10.2 Ecological Management Plan
10.2.1 As explained in Section 1.7 of this CoCP, the contractor’s EMP will include an Ecological Management Plan which will include details of procedures to be followed to mitigate environmental impacts due to construction on ecological resources, flora and fauna.
10.2.2 The Ecological Management Plan will include measures to be implemented relating to the following:
- Designated sites including Special Protection Areas (SPA), Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) and Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
- Protected species.
- Control of invasive and alien species.
- Protection of mature trees.
- Tree replacement.
- Monitoring procedures.
10.2.3 The Ecological Management Plan will include the following, as appropriate:
- A summary of all known areas of nature conservation interest which may be affected due to construction.
- Maps showing the locations of all known areas of nature conservation interest which may be affected due to construction, including access routes.
- Details of proposed protection measures to avoid any unnecessary encroachment into adjoining areas of nature conservation interest.
- Details of measures proposed to mitigate potential impacts on areas of nature conservation interest due to construction.
- A programme for undertaking ecological survey works prior to and during construction to verify the baseline ecological conditions disclosed in the Environmental Statement and undertake appropriate monitoring during construction.
- Details of any restrictions on the timing of construction works and construction methods to protect species or areas of nature conservation interest.
- Details of appropriate watching briefs to be implemented during construction works.
- Procedures to be implemented in relation to relocation or translocation of species.
- Procedures to be adopted in the event of unanticipated discovery or disturbance of protected species or important habitats.
- Reinstatement procedures to be implemented for any areas of temporary habitat loss.
- Reference to the relevant procedures in the Pollution Incident Response Plan to be implemented in the event of a pollution incident on or adjacent to a designated nature conservation site.
10.2.4 Relevant information, including the information outlined above will be included in individual Species or Habitat Management Plans which the contractor will prepare and which will form part of the Ecological Management Plan. Species or Habitat Management Plans will be prepared for the following:
- Terrestrial habitats.
- Aquatic/estuarine habitats.
- European Protected Species (cetaceans, great crested newt, otter and bats).
- Breeding birds.
- Freshwater fish, including migratory species.
10.2.5 The contractor will seek to reduce any habitat loss within the land provided for the Project by keeping the working area to the minimum necessary for construction of the Project.
10.2.6 Where appropriate, the contractor will mitigate the loss of ecologically important habitats through habitat creation to replace lost areas. Where replacement planting is provided, this mitigation will be integrated with landscape planting, as appropriate, and use native species of local provenance. See also Section 13 of this CoCP.
10.2.7 The contractor will have regard to the requirements of Sections 5, 6 and 9 of this CoCP relating to noise and vibration, dust and air quality, and protection of the water environment, respectively, to protect areas of ecologically important habitats and species adjacent to the construction site.
10.2.8 The Ecological Management Plan will set out any specific measures necessary to comply with relevant legislation, including the:
- Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, as amended;
- Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004;
- Conservation (Natural Habitats, & c.) Regulations 1994, as amended;
- Food and Environment Protection Act 1985;
- Protection of Badgers Act 1992;
- Environmental Protection Act 1990;
- Wild Mammals (Protection) Act 1996; and
- Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975.
10.2.9 The information set out in the Ecological Management Plan in relation to the above will include a description of the procedures to be implemented to comply with any licensing requirements.
10.2.10 The contractor will consult with SNH, SEPA and Marine Scotland, as appropriate, regarding preparation of the Ecological Management Plan.
10.2.11 The contractor will provide an Ecological Clerk of Works who will be responsible for implementation of the Ecological Management Plan.
10.3 Protected Habitats and Species
10.3.1 As explained in Section 1.4 of this CoCP, Reports to Inform an Appropriate Assessment (RIAAs) have been prepared in relation to the following sites:
- Firth of Forth Special Protection Area (SPA).
- Forth Islands SPA.
- Imperial Dock Lock SPA (contained within the Forth Islands RIAA).
- River Teith SAC.
10.3.2 The contractor will comply with the provisions of the Environmental Statement and the RIAAs in relation to these sites, and any other conditions or restrictions imposed by the Competent Authority in relation to the Appropriate Assessments carried out for the Project insofar as they relate to these sites (refer also to the provisions of paragraph 1.4.3).
10.3.3 The Environmental Statement also identifies potential impacts on the following Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI):
- St Margaret’s Marsh SSSI.
- Ferry Hills SSSI.
- Firth of Forth SSSI.
10.3.4 The contractor will comply with the provisions of the Environmental Statement in relation to these sites.
10.3.5 In accordance with the mitigation and other measures set out in the Environmental Statement and the RIAAs, the contractor will undertake surveys in advance of construction works being undertaken to identify protected species and will ensure that exclusion zones in line with best practice and which are appropriate considering the nature of the construction works to be undertaken are maintained. In preparing their method of construction work the contractors will take cognisance of the requirements set out in the Environmental Statement and the RIAAs. In the event that their proposed method (a) differs from the method assessed in and recommended by the Environmental Statement and the RIAAs and (b) in the view of the Ecological Clerk of Works, has the potential to significantly affect protected habitats and/or species, the contractor will consult with relevant bodies, including SNH, prior to work commencing regarding the need or otherwise for an Appropriate Assessment and/or additional and/or amended mitigation measures.
10.3.6 The contractor will obtain and comply with the requirements of any protected species licences necessary for construction of the Project. Licences may include those in relation to the following:
- European Protected Species derogation licences – in respect of any works likely to breach the Conservation (Natural Habitats &c) Regulations 1994. Species potentially requiring a derogation licence include cetaceans, great crested newt, otter and bats.
- Badger development licences - in respect of any works likely to result in the disturbance, damage or destruction of a badger sett.
10.3.7 The programming of construction works will take cognisance of the requirements set out in the Environmental Statement and RIAAs. In particular, the timing of construction works will be undertaken with due regard to the following:
- Site clearance works – to mitigate potential impacts on terrestrial breeding birds.
- Works within watercourses – to mitigate potential impacts on migratory fish.
- Foundation construction associated with the main crossing or the approach viaducts within the Firth of Forth – to mitigate potential impacts on fish, marine mammals and birds. See also paragraph 10.3.8 below.
10.3.8 Construction of the foundations associated with the main crossing and approach viaducts within the Firth of Forth will be undertaken in line requirements of the Environmental Statement and RIAAs to mitigate the potential effects on fish, marine mammals and birds, including impacts associated with the following:
- Noise and vibration due to piling and blasting works.
- Habitat loss due to piling and dredging works, including the disposal of dredgings.
- Release of sediment, including any contamination, due to construction works.
- Chemical spills due to construction works.
- Light pollution due to temporary lighting.
- Disturbance from increased traffic/vessels.
10.3.9 The contractor will provide a trained Marine Mammal Observer (MMO) during piling and blasting works to facilitate compliance with the requirements of this CoCP.
10.4 Control of Invasive and Alien Species
10.4.1 The contractor will describe within the Ecological Management Plan the strategy to be implemented for the appropriate treatment of invasive alien species, including, as appropriate:
- Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica); and
- giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum).
10.4.2 The strategy will set out appropriate construction, handling, treatment and disposal procedures in relation to these and any other species listed in Schedule 9, Part II of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, as amended, or the Weeds Act 1959 to prevent the spread of such species. Appropriate measures will also be set out to control other invasive species such as Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera) in line with recognised best practice.
10.4.3 Vessels involved in the construction activities for the FRC will operate in accordance with industry recommended guidelines for preventing the introduction of non-native marine species. UKMarineSAC (2009) recommends that vessels comply with International Maritime Organisation guidance wherever possible, seek guidance from the relevant navigation or harbour authorities port authority regarding areas where ballast water uptake should be avoided (e.g. near sewage outfalls), encourage the exchange of ballast water in the open ocean, and discourage/prohibit the unnecessary discharge of ballast water in port and harbour areas.
10.5 Protection of Trees
10.5.1 The contractor will employ an arboricultural consultant to oversee works relating to the protection of trees.
10.5.2 The contractor will protect trees in line with the recommendations in BS 5837 Trees in Relation to Construction.
10.5.3 The Ecological Management Plan will set out measures to be implemented, including the following, as appropriate:
- Provision of appropriate protective fencing to reduce the risks associated with vehicles trafficking over root systems or beneath canopies.
- Measures to prevent compression of soils.
- Maintenance of vegetation buffer strips, where practicable.
- Procedures for the selective removal of lower branches to reduce the risk of damage by construction plant and vehicles.
10.5.4 Any tree surgery operations will comply with the recommendations in BS 3998 Recommendations for Tree Works, as appropriate.
10.5.5 Tree felling will be carried out taking appropriate consideration of the Forestry Commission’s Forest and Water Guidelines 2003 to mitigate risks from felling areas of woodland and trees on the freshwater environment. Where there are no windthrow or landscape visual issues, tree felling will be reduced to that necessary to allow the safe construction and operation of the proposed scheme. Any tree felling operations must consider the legal protection given to roosting bats and breeding birds.
10.5.6 Where individual stands of trees are likely to be affected, the contractor will undertake an arboricultural assessment by appropriately qualified specialists and where necessary, appropriate mitigation employed.
10.5.7 Tree felling within land authorised by the Forth Crossing Bill will not require any secondary consent. Any tree felling in land outside the extents of the Bill which is occupied with the agreement of the relevant landowner will require consent in accordance with Forestry Act 1967. The contractor will obtain any consents necessary in this regard.
10.6 Tree Planting and Replacement
10.6.1 Any trees intended to be retained which are felled or die as a consequence of construction works will be replaced. Where reasonably practicable, the size and species of replacement trees will be selected to achieve a close resemblance of the original trees most effectively using locally occurring native species of local provenance and taking cognisance of any management plans for immediately adjacent areas of woodland.
10.6.2 The supply, storage, handling, planting and maintenance of new planting will be undertaken in accordance with appropriate British Standards, including BS 5837 Trees in relation to construction; BS 3998 Recommendations for Tree Works and BS 4428 Code of Practice for General Landscape Operations (excluding hard surfaces) and other guidance including the UK Forestry Standard and the UKWAS Standard.
10.7.1 The contractor will consult with relevant authorities including the Scottish Ministers, SNH, local authorities and the Forestry Commission regarding monitoring and survey works to be undertaken prior to construction to verify the baseline ecological and arboricultural conditions set out in the Environmental Statement, including agreeing a suitable handover from the Scottish Ministers for any ongoing monitoring and survey works being undertaken by them. The survey works will be planned to provide sufficient baseline data to inform the development of appropriate construction programmes, methods and mitigation measures which will be set out in the Ecological Management Plan.
10.7.2 The contractor will undertake appropriate monitoring of construction works and implementation of mitigation measures, including those relating to noise and vibration associated with works which may affect the SPAs, SAC and SSSIs, as appropriate.
10.7.3 The contractor will undertake appropriate monitoring during construction to enable the effectiveness of construction methods and mitigation measures to be identified.
- Bats and Lighting in the UK, Bat Conservation Trust, 2008
- BS 3998:1989 Recommendations for Tree Works, British Standards Institution
- BS 4428:1989 Code of Practice for General Landscape Operations (excluding hard surfaces), British Standards Institution
- BS 5489:2003 Code of Practice for the Design of Road Lighting, British Standards Institution
- BS 5837:2005 Trees in Relation to Construction, British Standards Institution
- BS EN 14011:2003 Water quality – Sampling of fish with electricity, British Standards Institution
- Environmental Protection Act 1990, as amended
- Food and Environment Protection Act 1985
- Forest and Water Guidelines 2003, Forestry Commission
- Forestry Act 1967
- Guidelines for minimising acoustic disturbance to marine mammals from seismic surveys, JNCC, 2004
- Mitigating Against Effects on Badgers, Highways Agency, 1997
- Nature Conservation Advice in Relation to Bats, Highways Agency 1999
- Nature Conservation Advice in Relation to Otters, Highways Agency, 1999
- Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004
- PPG 1: General Guide to prevention of pollution, Scottish Environment Protection Agency
- PPG 3: Use and design of oil separators in surface water drainage systems, Scottish Environment Protection Agency
- PPG 5: Works and maintenance in or near water, Scottish Environment Protection Agency
- PPG 6: Working at construction and demolition sites, Scottish Environment Protection Agency
- PPG 21: Pollution Incident Response Planning, Scottish Environment Protection Agency
- Protection of Badgers Act 1992
- Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975
- St Margaret’s Marsh SSSI, Ferry Hills SSSI and Firth of Forth SSSI (available on SNH SiteLink at http://www.snh.org.uk/snhi/ )
- Summary of the possible effects of wastes managed within ports and harbours and suggestions for means of avoiding, minimising and addressing them. UKMarineSAC, 2009, available at: http://www.ukmarinesac.org.uk/activities/ports/ph6_4
- The Conservation (Natural Habitats, & c.) Regulations 1994, as amended
- The UK Forestry Standard, The Government’s Appraoch to Sustainable Forestry, Forestry Commission, 2004
- United Kingdom Woodland Assurance (UKWAS) Standard, Second Edition (Amended November 2008)
- Weeds Act 1959
- Wild Mammals (Protection) Act 1996
- Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, as amended