Wildlife surveys by HiDef Aerial Surveying played a crucial role in today’s granting of permission to build the UK’s largest offshore wind farm almost 100 miles into the North Sea.
HiDef began extensive aerial surveying of marine birds and mammals across almost 3,500 square miles of the Dogger Bank in 2009. Part of the overall project was approved earlier this year, and today’s announcement by the Department of Energy and Climate Change confirms official confidence in the accuracy of HiDef’s data collection and statistical analysis.
During the contract with the Forewind international consortium, HiDef flew nearly a fifth of a million miles, and identified over half a million birds and ten thousand marine mammals. This was achieved without a single reportable environmental or safety incident, while utilising the world’s lowest carbon emission survey aircraft.
Acknowledging the valuable role of HiDef, Forewind’s Offshore Environmental Manager Martin Goff commented:
“Consenting this significant development depended on the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change having complete confidence in the scientific rigour of Forewind’s submission, which included HiDef’s survey data and analysis. HiDef’s exemplary safety record and determination to survey with the minimum of environmental impact helped to ensure this was a rewarding relationship all around.”
Steve Burns, HiDef’s Technical Director responded:
The Dogger Bank is the remotest and the largest of the UK offshore development zones and presented us with major challenges which we were happy to take on, coordinating multiple aircraft and processing hundreds of terabytes of data. We look forward to continuing the relationship with Forewind’s parent companies into the construction period.”