Atmos Consulting has welcomed a newly launched strategy to address a worrying decline in the population of Black Grouse in Southern Scotland. The new conservation plan was unveiled earlier this month by the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust in consultation with key partners including Scottish Natural Heritage, Forestry Commission Scotland and RSPB Scotland.

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Recently published research has identified a larger effect of windfarm development on Golden plover than was previously  thought.  Published by the RSPB in the science journal, Ibis, the research investigated the  population  of Golden plover in the vicinity of  the  Gordonbush wind farm near Bonar Bridge  in  the Highlands. The purpose of the research  was to investigate the impact of a  wind farm  development at this site on the Golden plover population before, during and after its  construction.   Principal Ornithologist Jenny Bell considers what the new could mean for other wind farm developments.

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As a developer, it may not be immediately clear why you might need to carry out aquatic surveys on your proposed development. In the case of hydro-schemes, the requirement for aquatic surveys is obvious and is part of the licensing process. But for a wind farm, a property development or construction of a new road, what is the added value? What type of survey should you consider and crucially, when can those surveys be undertaken?

North of Scotland Regional Director, Greg  Fullarton outlines the cost and time-saving  benefits of aquatic surveys for a wide  variety of developments.

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Atmos Consulting were recently commissioned, pre-construction, to provide ecological and environmental advice to Dee Valley Water (DVW) for the replacement of  an 8.5km water pipeline between Bronwylfa and Llwyn Onn, south of Wrexham in North Wales. The new pipeline is required to be installed and operational by December 2017, presenting us with a tight timescale for completion of the work.

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Society is increasingly taking more notice of the electricity we use and the sources it comes from. Renewable generating capacity has increased by 165% since 2010, now supports 460,000 jobs in the UK and provides 19% of our electricity. However, electricity is only part of the energy picture.  Senior EIA Consultant Sarah Whyte argues that we need to focus much more on renewable heat as we seek to make the transition to a low carbon economy.

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