APEM Completes East Anglia Wildlife Photo Shoot

UK environmental consultancy APEM has completed offshore wildlife surveys for the proposed East Anglia ONE North and TWO wind farms, photographing a combined area of over 1,000 square kilometres.

The data collected on behalf of Scottish Power Renewables during the two years of surveys will inform the ornithological and marine mammal environmental impact assessments for the developments.

Over 35,000 ultra-high resolution images have been collected and analysed in order to count and identify the species of seabirds and marine mammals.

APEM conducted 24 aerial surveys of the 800MW East Anglia ONE North proposed wind farm, as well as 18 aerial surveys of the 900MW East Anglia TWO proposed development. Six surveys of East Anglia TWO had previously been conducted by APEM in 2015-16.

The survey areas for East Anglia ONE North, located approximately 36km offshore Lowestoft, covered about 500 square kilometres, while the area for East Anglia TWO, located approximately 31km offshore, covered roughly 600 square kilometres.

“High quality digital aerial surveys are now firmly established as the leading methodology for collecting wildlife data for offshore wind farm developments,'' APEM project manager, Laura Jervis, said.

“Like so much in the world of offshore wind energy the practices and technologies have moved on incredibly quickly. Year-on-year we have been able to deliver higher quality images and therefore more robust data for our clients to use in the consenting process, contributing to greater confidence and improved outcomes.”

The aerial digital surveys had started in September 2016 and were being conducted on a monthly basis since then. The final surveys in the programme for both sites were flown in August.