Ecology, wildlife and environmental sustainability

Please note: Wavegarden Scotland is committed to managing and enhancing the ecological integrity of Craigpark Quarry, and the natural environment of the site has always been central to the ethos and focus of our plan, with additional flora & fauna and improved habitat development integral to our vision. The planned water management of the site has been formulated into a series of integrated wetland habitats connecting from the wildlife corridor of the canal into the heart of the development to facilitate and accelerate the recolonization of the former quarry.

We are also keen to work with local wildlife enthusiasts on ideas for future wildlife and natural habitat development of the site, and plan to host a ‘citizen-science’ ecological survey charting the success and the pace of recolonization. This could in turn inform a tour for interested members of the local area to attend in due course. Please keep an eye on our website and Facebook for future announcements on this.

 

What ecological surveys have been undertaken?

We‘ve undertaken every ecological survey required of us by the planning process, namely a phase 1 ecology and habitats survey in February 2017 (the results report of which is published in appendix B of our Environmental Statement) and further protected species surveys in May 2017 (the summary findings of which can be found on pages 27 & 28 of our Environmental Statement). The detailed protected species survey results submitted to the City of Edinburgh Council have not been published on the planning portal due to their sensitive nature.

 

What ecological surveys are planned for future?

We will of course undertake all ecological surveys as required by the planning application process, and a landscape management and habitat plan will be put in place for any wildlife which is found to be habituating on site. Also, as noted above, we are open to constructive dialogue with local wildlife experts.

 

Who has conducted your ecological surveys?

Our ecological surveys are conducted by WSP, an internationally recognised multi-disciplinary consultancy services firm who are experts in ecological planning and management.

 

Were any protected wildlife species found in your site surveys?

Our most recent ecological surveys, undertaken in May 2017, showed no evidence of protected species in the quarry. Whilst protected species may have visited the site in the past, the information we’ve assessed is that it is not currently a habitat for any protected species. This is confirmed in our Environmental Statement although detailed survey results have not been published on the planning portal due to their sensitive nature.

 

In our most recent ecological surveys of May 2017, badger and bat foraging was found on site with the potential for bat roosts, and an appropriate impact mitigation plan has been proposed, including bat boxes in the nearby tree line. Scottish Natural Heritage has confirmed it is satisfied with these management plans and you can see this correspondence here.

 

How will the country park benefit local ecology and wildlife?

As stated, working in symbiosis with the natural capital of the site has always been central to our vision. The planned water management of the site has been formulated into a series of integrated wetland habitats connecting the wildlife corridor of the canal into the heat of the development to facilitate and accelerate the recolonization of the former quarry. The maintenance of the site’s meadows, grasslands and emerging woodlands are programmed to recognise the life cycles of key biodiversity pyramids and offer a refuge for a variety of native and transient wildlife. The grass lands will be left to maturity thus providing over-winter habitat. The natural rock-face of the former quarry is being retained as a key feature of the site, and further wetland habitat planting is proposed at its base to afford protection to those species utilising the rock face (please see markers 34 on this illustration for further clarity). A construction exclusion zone has also been created to mitigate the development impact on existing trees (see tree constraints and mitigation plan for further info).

 

Will Wavegarden Scotland look like a natural environment?

We understand that surfing for lots of people is as much about being out in the natural environment as it is about catching waves. We intend to create an ecologically and resource-conscious destination for surfers and non-surfers that provides the feeling of being at one with nature. We will do this through the use of high quality soft landscaping, tree planting and natural materials within a consented country park.

 

Will Wavegarden Scotland be designed and operated sustainably?

Yes, the intention is for Wavegarden Scotland to incorporate a combination of engineering, sustainable design, water catchment systems, photovoltaic systems, recycling/re-use of materials and local sourcing to help minimise any environmental impacts. We are open to discussions with local universities and colleges to utilise the lagoon for research in this field.

 

How much energy is needed to generate waves?

The Wavegarden ‘Cove’ wave generator is the most energy efficient surfing wave generator available. Wavegarden Scotland requires about the same amount of energy per annum as would typically be used by a small, indoor aquatic centre.

 

Can renewable energy be used to power the wave generator?

The power requirement of the wave generator is unlikely to be satisfied by renewable energy sources. However, we are investigating how some of the energy requirements of the facility (e.g. the buildings) can be produced by renewable sources such as solar PV panels and wind power generation systems.

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