Nature conservation authorities, public authorities and state agencies charged with nature conservation responsibilities do their very best to fulfil their statutory and scientific functions with their available resources. When internal resources aren’t available or cannot be allocated to a project in the timeframe required, MKO can provide the additional resources and expertise required while working in conjunction with staff of nature conservation authorities or taking sole responsibility for delivering an entire project on their behalf.
Gathering baseline scientific data, managing and undertaking large-scale survey efforts or specific seasonal surveys, or preparing conservation status reports, can all present challenges when the personnel resources of the conservation authorities are dealing with all their other responsibilities. The outsourcing of this work by authorities is now increasingly common when time or resources don’t permit it to be undertaken “in-house”.
Nature conservation authorities and public authorities responsible for the Appropriate Assessment (AA) are also increasingly gathering their own data to fulfill their AA functions as competent authorities. Many authorities have come to accept they must take responsibility for gathering their own scientific data, particularly when it would be unrealistic for any one project applicant to survey some of the very extensive nature conservation sites designated as SPAs or SACs.
Conservation – Key Services
We manage the entire planning permission application process, or provide key inputs and planning advice. From advice at the pre-planning stage, through to preparing and managing the planning application or responding to further information requests, we help applicants or their project teams navigate a project through the planning process.
We can either lead the planning-phase design team or are equally happy to play out part as a team member. Our most experienced planners lead the consultations with the Planning Authorities, from the initial concept feasibility discussions right through to agreeing pre-commencement compliance requirements.
The planning-led feasibility studies we produce consider the opportunities, risks and constraints associated with any given site. This usually involves environmental, ecological and other inputs from our other in-house teams and specialists, to provide a fully informed view of what will be required to identify opportunities or secure planning permission for a site or project.
Where necessary, they can also include inputs from property, urban design and other technical specialists. Our feasibility studies can be focused on a particular type of project, or can consider and help identify opportunities for appropriate uses where a specific end use has to be identified, and are regularly used to market a site to prospective users or other interested parties, and build confidence in the merits of a site.
They can be targeted at a specific ecological subject matter of relevance, or span the full spectrum of ecology, from terrestrial habitats, flora and fauna, to freshwater, marine and avian ecology. Our EcIA are solutions-focused, proposing ways to mitigate potential impacts rather than just identify problems. Our clients benefit from the EcIA experience we bring to their projects, from having worked on some of the country’s largest infrastructure projects.
Our presence can by full-time or more occasional, as required by the scale of project, site sensitivity or client’s requirements. Our ECoW staff have the necessary experience to be able to translate written mitigation and design measures into practical, on-the-ground solutions to ensure the implemented measures are fit for purpose. We can take responsibility for on-site environmental monitoring (water, noise, dust, air), as well as all auditing and reporting duties.
During the construction stage of projects, we undertake monitoring on behalf of construction contractors, or on behalf of project developers/applicants to monitor a contractor’s compliance with environmental or contractual performance criteria. We also own and operate a large array of automatic water quality monitoring devices (SONDES), which provide our clients with access to valuable real-time, and long-term water quality data relating to their site or project.