How To Preserve And Protect Wildlife During Development Work

UNWTO

The construction industry is considered to be one of the most environmentally-detrimental industries around the world. Moreover, due to its reliance on the ecology for raw materials, it has a direct effect on wildlife. There are different areas of construction that directly impact biodiversity, including industrial and commercial developments, civil infrastructure development, as well as housing development projects. This means that industry professionals should focus on implementing construction plans and designs that minimise adverse effects on wildlife. As a result, it is crucial to find reliable strategies to balance development work and wildlife preservation. Today we will share our top tips to enhance wildlife preservation during construction work.

Minimise Onsite Disturbance To Wildlife

Construction processes and activities can have a significant impact on wildlife preservation, particularly at the sites of construction. For example, the noise produced by construction activities may sometimes result in the alteration of breeding and feeding patterns. Some of the species which are mostly affected by noise include bats, badgers, birds, and great-crested newts. Consequently, you should select the site and nature of construction only after you have weighed the impact your development will have on animal and plant lives. It’s important to identify areas where the most vulnerable species are found and habitats where species require a large area of land.

Identify Protected Species On-Site

If there are existing buildings or trees on site, it’s likely that you will encounter protected species, such as bats. Therefore, a bat survey may be required, if there is any chance that you might interfere, disturb, or disrupt a bat in its natural habitat. At Arbtech, you can book a bat surveyor for your project, who is educated and trained to handle and disturb bats safely. In addition, undertaking a bat survey will help you take all the necessary measures to prevent long-term damage or impact on a pre-existing bat population. As bats are protected by law, relevant processes must be implemented to ensure minimal disturbance.

Consider Offsite Activities That Affect Wildlife

Alongside the sites of construction, you should also consider all other offsite activities that might have an effect on wildlife. For example, air, land, and water are essential resources, that support wildlife and polluting them can be detrimental to biodiversity. Additionally, construction works and activities always pose the risk of the destruction of natural habitats. There are always risks of fires, which represents a lot of stress on wildlife. Also, road constructions and any other subsequent developments can pose a significant challenge, as they can sometimes affect natural habitats.

Check If Your Plans Affect Protected Areas

It’s crucial to find out if your development is likely to affect a protected area or site. Keep in mind that if your development damages a protected area, your planning authority may not provide you with planning permission. For example, protected areas include national parks, areas of outstanding natural beauty, sites of special scientific interest, special areas of conservation, special protection areas, and more. It may be useful to use this mapping tool to determine whether your development is in or near a protected area or site. You may have to pay a fee if your plans affect protected sites.

Avoid Sensitive Areas For Construction

There are certain areas that you should avoid in order to ensure wildlife preservation in the construction sector. For example, you may want to stay away from places that may lead to complete damage to the distribution and abundance of individual species or total loss of natural habitat. It’s also important to avoid areas that might create an ecological imbalance and possible loss of wildlife. Additionally, you should be mindful of locations that could be easily fragmented by construction processes and activities, resulting in barriers between the fragments.

Restore And Enhance Wildlife Habitats

It’s crucial to establish and implement measures that eliminate or minimise the adverse effects on wildlife preservation. Therefore, construction processes should be focused on retaining existing habitats to preserve and protect biodiversity. You should also aim to compensate for the damage that may be caused to wildlife due to your project by recreating features and restoring the existing landscape to support wildlife. In addition, you may need to relocate wildlife to better habitats, if the existing ones are damaged. Also, ensure that the landscapes are in the best condition to help plant and animal life thrive.

Report Environmental Incidents

During the building process, you’ll need to be aware that it’s your responsibility to report any environmental incidents that may occur. For instance, these incidents may involve anything from damaged river banks to fallen trees or other damage to the natural environment. In addition, it’s vital to report any accidents where animals might be hurt or if your workers find a dead animal. To report any incidents, you’ll need to visit the government website and find all the advice you need to let them know there has been a problem.

Determine If You Need A Mitigation Licence

You will need to determine if your development project is likely to affect a protected species and its habitat to decide if you need a mitigation licence. It may also be helpful to speak to an ecologist for more guidance and information. It’s important to do everything possible to avoid disturbing protected species, such as blocking access to or destroying their habitat. In most cases, it should be possible to plan the work to achieve this. However, if this isn’t possible and construction work will affect the species, you should apply for a mitigation licence.

Attract Wildlife To Your Property

Once your project is complete, you can focus on making your property an oasis for wildlife. This way you’ll help to conserve different species and lessen some of the harm caused by construction activities. For example, you may want to plant a pollinator-friendly garden or install a bat box. In addition, some other helpful techniques include providing a soggy spot for butterflies and offering nutrient-rich seeds for birds. Be sure to leave a wild lawn, which will mimic a meadow and entice mammals that feed on grass or insects. If there is space for a pond or a water feature, this will diversify the garden ecosystem and attract different creatures.

Popular on True Activist