Our Team are specialists in undertaking Groundwater Dependent Terrestrial Ecosystem (GWDTE) Assessments to support developers at planning and post planning application stages. We have significant experience in undertaking these key assessments to assist developers in minimising the disturbance to potential GWDTEs which are afforded protection in environmental assessment guidance and policy across the UK.
GWTDEs are typically identified in the first instance by the project ecologists who would undertake a National Vegetation Classification (NVC) survey which is then used to allocate a ‘low’, ‘medium’ or ‘high’ potential GWDTE presence based on the vegetation type. Our Team would then undertake focused hydrological, hydrogeological and geological site survey work to confirm the validity of the classifications. Factors such as geology, local ground conditions, local hydrology, topography, presence of artificial drainage (i.e. field drains), presence of hydraulic barriers such as existing roads / tracks and proximity to watercourses can all have a material bearing on whether an area is considered to be a GWDTE or not.
Following the detailed survey works we would then prepare a detailed GWDTE Assessment report to provide the relevant evidence to stakeholders and regulators and inform the development layout to minimise the potential impacts. If it is unavoidable that GWDTEs would be affected by the development, we would then develop detailed mitigation, monitoring and management plans in consultation with stakeholders to offset the potential impacts and if necessary create replacement GWDTE areas within the site.