Cork Lower Harbour Main Drainage Scheme

In providing the role of Independent Ecologist for this project, Flynn Furney Environmental Consultants Ltd was responsible for monitoring works within and adjacent to the Cork Harbour Special Protection Area (SPA).

This role included pre-construction surveys and consultations with NPWS, IFI and the Local Heritage Officer. Both aquatic and terrestrial experience was required for this project including an emphasis on marine and ornithological proficiency.

The project, with Ward and Burke, was conducted over a large area within the harbour environs and as such, a diverse range of environments was dealt with. Green areas with trees, and subsequent bat potential, required bat surveys to be conducted. Works within and adjacent to the SPA resulted in Wintering Birds being a main consideration for works and surveys of key areas enabled the programming of works to continue. Mitigation methodologies were discussed with NPWS and the use of screens and acoustic barriers was agreed. Monitoring at various tidal stages before, during and after works ensured that potential impacts on birds were avoided.

The presence of IAPS (Invasive Alien Plant Species) resulted in the development of site specific management plans to ensure biosecurity was maintained during the project. Protected plants also featured in this project with Pennyroyal Mentha pulegium recorded in the area. Therefore, all eco-sensitive sites were surveyed for the presence of not only invasive plants but protected flora and fauna also.

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