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West Cumbria water supply project – Ecology

Naturally Compliant was commissioned to provide Environmental Consultancy resources to this significant infrastructure project in Cumbria.

Naturally Compliant was commissioned by our client to provide Environmental Consultancy resources to this significant infrastructure project in Cumbria.  The project involved the construction of a 92km open-cut pipeline, which traversed areas adjacent to and through the Lake District National Park. As part of our comprehensive services, we were responsible for fulfilling a full ecological service remit, among other tasks including.

  • Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey

  • Ecological Reports/ Management documents

  • Protected Species Survey

  • Protected Species Mitigation

  • Habitat Enhancement

  • Stakeholder Liaison

  • Invasive Non-Native Species Survey

  • Invasive Non-Native Species Mitigation

Pre construction

Naturally Compliant conducted an extensive update of the Phase 1 Habitat Survey along the entire project route, adhering to Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) guidelines1. This survey identified sensitive and priority habitats, as well as signs of protected species and other features of interest.

Working closely with our client, we used this information to create a site and project-specific Ecological Management Plan as part of the broader Environmental Control Plan (Construction Environmental Management Plan). This plan addressed potential ecological constraints and outlined appropriate mitigation measures. Our focus was on ensuring practical solutions that allowed the project to be delivered on time and budget.

We took the lead in liaising with the developer and statutory authorities on behalf of our client, providing reassurance that the project would be conducted in an ecologically sensitive and compliant manner while managing stakeholder expectations.


Following the agreed Ecological Management Plan, Naturally Compliant coordinated the detailed ecological mitigation efforts. This encompassed conducting surveys and implementing necessary mitigation measures for protected or notable species including:

  • Great Crested Newts

  • Bats

  • Birds – Including Schedule 1 Species

  • Salmonids

  • Red Squirrel

  • Badgers

  • Otters

  • Reptiles

  • Invasive Non-Native Species

During this project phase, our team handled 4 European protected species licenses (1xGCN, 3xBat) and conducted tree climbing inspections following BCT guidelines for potential bat roost features. We completed pre-construction checks for hundreds of nesting bird and reptile features, organised fish rescues using electro fishing techniques for watercourse crossings, and conducted regular surveys for red squirrel and badger presence.

Our team efficiently managed invasive species, including Japanese Knotweed, Himalayan Balsam, and Giant Hogweed, in conjunction with an invasive species specialist. We provided ongoing advice, training, and monitoring resources to support the client in making informed decisions due to the project’s dynamic nature and species mobility.

Throughout, our focus remained on environmental compliance and protecting the project’s ecological surroundings.

Post Construction and reinstatement

The Environmental Control Plan outlined the restoration of the working area after project completion and identified opportunities for biodiversity net gain and habitat enhancement. Naturally Compliant offered expert advice on best practices for implementation, including planting schedules and species compositions for hedgerows, woodlands, and meadows. Our focus was on promoting ecological sustainability and enhancing habitats to leave a positive impact on the environment.

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