EcoEireann recognises that the collection of survey information is not always straightforward and innovative solutions are needed to overcome barriers that tight delivery schedules, access and development scale can pose. This insight has been the primary driver for the collaborative partnership between EcoEireann and HiDef & BioConsult SH; the UK’s market leader in high-resolution digital aerial offshore and onshore wildlife surveys.
HiDef uses the latest imaging technologies to form its bespoke ultra-high-resolution digital video camera system capable of achieving on-the-ground pixel sizes as small as 0.5cm. This combines with its unique use of moving images to give accurate, precise and scientifically robust identification of species and their abundance for a range of marine and terrestrial wildlife. This system is used from a survey aircraft, rather than a drone, and uses the UK’s most carbon-efficient survey aircraft – a key consideration when supporting sustainable development and conservation. HiDef collects, interprets, plots, analyses, maps and models data and presents it in industry leading formats to support clients through the environmental challenges of the development process, from start to finish, and foresee and mitigate challenges and obstacles.
This collaborative partnership led to the successful completion of a commercial-scale aerial Phase 1 Habitat style survey over a large site in North East England with a challenging schedule for delivery and access restrictions. The approach of undertaking aerial Phase 1 Habitat Survey supported by ground truthing by EcoEireann’s Ecologists was agreed with the statutory authority for the project. Predefined strip transects were flown at a non-intrusive height over the site, objects were then identified, and data analysed by professional Ecologists at HiDef’s offices in Cumbria and quality assured by the EcoEireann team. Several terabytes (TB) of ecological data were collated, analysed and safely stored for future review.
By using the result from the aerial survey, EcoEireann was able to review the results of the aerial Phase 1 Habitat Survey on the ground focusing on key areas and proof habitat conditions on the ground and, where necessary, carry out targeted species-specific surveys. The combination of aerial and ground based surveys provided project efficiencies over a large-scale scheme while ensuring necessary detail could be obtained.
To find out more about this integrated service contact John Thompson.