Our services include:

  • Screening Reports /Assessments
  • Natura Impact Statements for plans, programmes and projects

Our Projects

Natura-ImpactNatura Impact Statement – Proposed Redesign of a Permitted Wind Farm at Uggool, near Oughterard, Co. Galway

Client: SSE Renewables

Location: Galway, Ireland

Capital Value: N/A

Key Facts: Preparation of a Natura Impact Statement for the re-design of a permitted wind farm development in Co. Galway, comprising 16 wind turbines.

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There were five Natura 2000 sites (one SPA and four SACs) within 10km of Uggool Wind Farm.  The Connemara Bog Complex SAC and Lough Corrib SAC lie within 2km and 3.5km of the wind farm site respectively.  In addition Ross Lake and Woods SAC, Gortnandarragh Limestone Pavement SAC and Lough Corrib SPA are all within 10km of the site.  The potential impacts of the development on these sites were assessed in terms of their qualifying interests and conservation objectives.

A Stage 1 AA Screening Report was initially carried out for this development.  Evidence was gathered from a full suite of ecological surveys (including Vantage Point bird surveys) carried out by FT at the site, as part of the EIA process.  Ongoing consultation with a wide range of statutory bodies, including the Irish National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Inland Fisheries Ireland was carried out.  Cumulative impacts were addressed through a desk study of permitted wind farms in the area.

Potential impacts on water quality in the Connemara Bog Complex SAC and on displacement of birds in Lough Corrib SPA were identified and Stage 2 of the AA process and production of a Natura Impact Statement (NIS) was carried out for these sites.  The NIS incorporated a number of mitigatory measures to protect receiving waters from impacts on water quality and to protect birds from displacement.  These in turn served to protect the ‘qualifying features’ of both Natura 2000 sites from any adverse impacts.  Potential impacts on the remaining sites were ruled out in an AA Screening Report.

AppropriateAppropriate Assessment Screening Report for Bridge Renewal Works in Wicklow

Client: Irish Rail (Iarnród Eireann)

Location: Wicklow, Ireland

Capital Value: €1,125

Key Facts: Stage 1 Screening Report for renewal works to a pedestrian footbridge in Wicklow.

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FT carried out a Stage 1 Appropriate Assessment Screening Report for the works which included a detailed description of the planned works, plus identification of the Natura 2000 sites (their qualifying features, conservation objectives and threats) within and adjacent to the bridge.  The Murrough Wetlands SAC is situated immediately to the north of the bridge.  This coastal wetland complex extends 15km northwards to Ballygannon.  It is the largest coastal wetland complex on the east coast of Ireland, and contains a wide range of coastal and freshwater habitats, five of which are Annex I habitats.  Murrough Bridge is situated within the Murrough SPA which extends 13km upstream of the bridge, and 1km downstream, towards Wicklow Port.  The SPA is an important site for wintering waterbirds.

The NPWS were consulted on their concerns with the project.  Potential impacts of the works on the qualifying features of the relevant Natura 2000 sites were assessed in detail, particularly on aquatic habitats and species and wintering waterfowl.  In order to identify potential ‘In Combination Effects’, other key plans and projects in the area were identified and taken into consideration.

The Screening Report concluded that due to the nature and good practice design of the proposed works, there would not be a significant impact on any Natura 2000 site, and Stage 2 of the Appropriate Assessment process was not required.



jon.kearneyJon Kearney – Principal Scientist / Ecologist

Telephone: +353 21 4964133

Email: jon.kearney@nullftco.ie

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ElaineElaine Bennett – Senior Scientist

Telephone: +353 21 4964133

Email: Elaine.bennett@nullftco.ie

Linkedin: Add me on Linkedin

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