The Hornsea Project Three Offshore Wind Farm (Hornsea Three) received development consent in December 2020. As part of the Development Consent Order (DCO), the department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) included a requirement for ecological compensation measures for the black-legged kittiwake seabird species (Rissa tridactyla), due to the potential impact on kittiwakes, in-combination with other wind farm projects.
Downward trends in kittiwake numbers have been recorded since 2000, which has resulted in the species now being listed as vulnerable and at risk of extinction on the UK’s Red List for Birds of Conservation Concern.
As a result, Ørsted will be providing four artificial nesting structures for kittiwakes along the east of England coastline. This project is the first of its kind and Ørsted is working on novel and innovative designs for the artificial nesting structures. Each structure will be purpose-built, bespoke and specific to the landscape characteristics of each location. The structures also present an educational opportunity, allowing researchers to better understand kittiwakes.
Developing effective environmental compensation measures is essential to ensure the UK Government’s targets for offshore wind can be realised, to deliver a net zero-carbon future.