Kittiwake compensation

Background

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.

Location

Ørsted have conducted a thorough search for locations that would be suitable for the siting of artificial nesting structures for kittiwakes. Shortlisted sites have been agreed with Natural England and RSPB, amongst other consultees.

The Old Yacht Club on Ferry Road in Hartlepool (Figure 1) is one of the sites that has been identified as being ecologically suitable for accommodating artificial nesting structures. It is ideally located in relation to the coast and there is an existing kittiwake colony nearby on the Hartlepool RNLI Lifeboat Station (Figure 2).
 

Designs

Two artificial nesting structures are being proposed on the Old Yacht Club site. The design of the first structure is based on traditional fishermens’ huts, commonly found along the north east coast. The second structure is a tower, whose design is derived from lighthouses, watchtowers and castles that are often seen along the coastline. Concept designs are illustrated in Figure 3 and the view of the artificial nesting structures from the Town Wall on the opposite headland is shown in Figure 4.

Overall, each structure will provide capacity for 500 nesting spaces. The designs have been driven by ecological factors to attract kittiwake and encourage local birds to nest on the structures. The designs will be refined over the coming weeks by our technical teams, working closely with Hartlepool Borough Council’s planning officers and other key stakeholders. 

The construction works are expected to take place in summer 2022 and will take approximately 5 months to be completed.

 

Planning Application

├śrsted intends to apply to Hartlepool Borough Council for planning permission to construct the nesting structures in November 2021. ├śrsted are engaging with local stakeholders in advance of our upcoming planning application to introduce the artificial nesting structures development. There will be an opportunity to make representations on the application for planning permission through the standard planning process. If you have any questions or would like to discuss the proposals in the meantime, please contact us at HornseaProjectThree@orsted.com. Comments can be made via email or via the response form provided below.
 

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