We have successfully delivered hundreds of consulting projects worth many millions of pounds since we first began trading in 1998. We work on smaller short-term projects but specialise in developing and delivering long-term programs of work for our clients which often lead to research publications being produced once projects are complete.
A small cross-section of our projects is described below. If you want to know more about these projects then just click on the highlighted links…
N.B. We are currently re-building this section and so only a sub-set of the projects have detailed info available at present.
Peatland assessment for development: ScottishPower Renewables (SPR) is the largest developer of onshore windfarms in theUK. A prospective site in the north of Scotland was the subject of a detailed scoping study aimed at providing all the information needed to determine whether or not a development was appropriate at the chosen location.
The impact of deer on montane habitats: Forest Enterprise Scotland (FES) Forest Enterprise Scotland (FES) manages the national forest estate in Scotland and is responsible for timber production, conservation and recreation. SCL has worked withFES for many years in Glen Affric, quantifying patterns of deer abundance and impacts. In the latest phase of the work, we installed a suite of experimental enclosures high on a ridge above the upper glen after using a helicopter to drop off the materials on the site. The plan is to follow the response of the vegetation inside the fences over time to quantify changes.
Saltmarsh and mudflat restoration as mitigation for a new bridge: MorganVinci Joint Venture (MVJV) won the contract for the Upper Forth Crossing, now known as the Clackmannshire bridge. SCL was asked to design a program of monitoring which would confirm the extent to which the mitigation plan for the bridge construction had been successful. The mitigation work involved creating new saltmarsh and mudflat habitat.
Deforestation of peatland for bog restoration: ScottishPower Renewables (SPR) is the largest developer of onshore windfarms in the UK. SCL has worked with SPR for almost a decade now, quantifying patterns of plant re-colonisation of commercial forest land cleared of trees in order to restore blanket bog. The aim of the project is to develop a detailed understanding of the factors which control the process, in order to ensure that mitigation proposals in EIA’s are achievable.
The erosion of an upland plateau: Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) is the lead government agency for conservation in Scotland, and also manages a number of National Nature Reserves. The Monadhlaith SAC in Inverness-shire is currently the subject of a very detailed study by SCL, the aims of which are to identify the pattern occupancy on the site and to establish whether the pattern of deer impacts on the eroding blanket bog is in any way associated with deer occupancy levels. The study is ongoing, and has so far involved a wide range of ecological and geomorphological survey techniques and modelling being employed.
The hydrology of blanket mire under development: ScottishPower Renewables (SPR) is the largest developer of onshore windfarms in the UK. SCL is currently involved in a study of blanket bog hydrology in southernScotland, the aim of which is to understand more about the impacts on surface hydrology of infrastructure being installed on afforested peatlands. The project involves the use of a wide range of hydrological monitoring techniques and will run for several years.
Reviewing the approach to setting deer culls: Forest Enterprise Scotland (FES) manages the national forest estate in Scotland and is responsible for timber production, conservation and recreation. SCL has worked with FES for a long number of years, trying to develop reliable ways to predict deer population dynamics using a range of field-based and modelling approaches. Key work has included checking the accuracy of biometrics data gathered in deer larders, identifying how much time is actually spent culling in a range of forests and producing modelling frameworks which deal with sampling errors. The aim of the work is to help ensure that the most appropriate number of deer is culled in a given area of forest.
Establishing a new native woodland: ScottishPower Renewables (SPR) is the largest developer of onshore windfarms in the UK. A site in the south of Scotland was deforested as part of the construction process. In order to meet with the requirements of current government policies on clearance of forest, SCL designed a new native woodland covering several hundred hectares. The next phase of the project, overseeing the establishment of the woodland, will also be undertaken by SCL staff alongside SPR.
Reviewing red squirrel management practices: Forestry Commission England (FCE) is responsible for woodland grant aid in England, and also oversees forestry policy. We worked on a project to review the current practices employed in control of grey squirrels and monitoring of red squirrels, as part of a large project currently underway in the North of England which is trying to conserve the red squirrel under threat due to habitat loss and Squirrel Pox virus (SQPV).
Deer impacts on commercial forest plantings: Coillte Teoranta is the state body for forestry in Eire. The Wicklow region has been the subject of a wide range of detailed studies over the past 12 years by SCL, involving deer abundance assessment, deer impact assessment and modelling. The aims of the project have been to forecast the likely extent of economic losses arising from timber quality degrade, compared with the likely revenues arising from stalking leases and venison sales.