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We are experts in the provision of tailored ecology and fisheries services to the hydropower industry in the UK and Ireland...

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ECOFACT have been involved in the environmental impact assessment of a wide variety of hydropower projects. Our experience extends from small hydro, to large scale and pumped storage schemes.

We have prepared Ecological Impact Assessments (EcIA) for numerous proposed schemes, and Article 6 Appropriate Assessments for sites located within designated Natura 2000 conservation sites.

Small Hydro Ireland salmon parr River Shannon
  • Our range of technical services to the hydropower industry include fisheries impact assessments, hydrology modelling, fishway design and fisheries mitigation technology. We have developed a reputation for excellence in fisheries and aquatic ecological consultancy, and we can ensure that you have the required expert fisheries input into the design, construction and operation of hydropower schemes.
  • Other services we provide to the hydropower industry include mammal surveys (including bat surveys), habitat mapping assessments and botanical surveys, protected aquatic species assessments and bird surveys.

Typical impact assessment for a hydropower installation would evaluate the sensitivity of the site in terms of species present, habitat quality and type, and the potential impact on migration patterns. Appropriate mitigation may take the form of improved fish passage and a minimum residual flow. Sites vary significantly in terms of sensitivity and it is not possible to apply a generic abstraction regime to all sites.

For more sensitive sites, a fisheries assessment is essential to achieve the right balance and hence efficient use of the resource, while ensuring the maintenance and protection of the ecology of the river.

Current News Stories:

  • Filming a documentary on Sea Lampreys

    We were delighted to work recently with BBC Earth on a documentary on Sea Lampreys Petromyzon marinus. The filming took place during early-June 2017 on the old River Shannon at Castleconnell, Co Limerick. This is part of the Lower River Shannon Special Area of Conservation, and Sea Lampreys are a key conservation interest of this […]

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  • Major new book – Wildlife and Wind Farms

    A major new book will be published in May 2017 entitled ‘Wildlife and Wind Farms: Conflicts and Solutions’. Volume 1 of this book includes a chapter prepared by Ecofact Principal Ecologist Dr. William O’Connor. The two-volume set provides a comprehensive overview of the interactions between wind farms and wildlife, each volume dedicated to one of the two […]

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  • Surveying wintering birds in the Irish Midlands

    Our staff are currently undertaking a number of wintering bird surveys in the Irish Midlands. Here we have provided some photos and videos from bird surveys we undertook during December 2015. Our bird surveys are undertaken to inform both the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Natura Impact Statement (NIS) reports being prepared for proposed wind energy […]

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  • Marine and estuarine ecology surveys

    Marine and estuarine ecological surveys are a key service provided by ECOFACT. These surveys are undertaken for a number of purposes, including informing the Environmental Impact Assessments and Article 6 Appropriate Assessments of proposed developments affecting the marine / estuarine environment. These surveys are also to monitor the impact of industrial and municipal discharges and aquaculture […]

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  • Freshwater Pearl Mussel surveys

    The Freshwater Pearl Mussel Margaritifera margaritifera is a (freshwater) bivalve listed under Annex II and V of the EU Habitats Directive. It is legally protected in Ireland under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife Act (1976 (Protection of Wild Animals) (Statutory Instrument No. 112, 1990) and the European Communities (Natural Habitats) Regulations (Statutory Instrument No. 94, 1997). Owing […]

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