A programme of wildlife surveys are undertaken to identify what species and habitats are present on our sites, if any are protected, and how we might benefit them. We have collected a large amount of information about the wildlife on our sites and will continue surveying to keep this knowledge up to date.
Local experts are commissioned to undertake many of these surveys, but information from public visitors to sites is just as important as they are often the first people to see unusual species, especially migratory birds that have recently arrived. We keep the records from logbooks in our bird hides which contain useful information.
The information from wildlife surveys provides a good basis for preparing management plans which are an essential management tool to ensure that the wildlife interest on important sites is recognised and maintained. We have management plans in place for key sites and these are usually updated every five years.
Our operational activities can also have an influence on the wildlife at our sites and to minimise adverse impacts we use an in-house environmental screening process for proposed capital work to not only identify potential impacts but also to look for opportunities to enhance sites.
Further information on tools and techniques used to manage our sites are detailed below.