to the latest edition of our newsletter. We hope that you have had a relaxing summer break and managed to enjoy some sunshine! As you will probably be aware, we moved to Pendeford Business Park on the northern edge of Wolverhampton in the Spring and are now fully settled into our new office. As always we are happy to help with your project requirements and would be keen to assist with more than one discipline if appropriate. At Crestwood, each project has a senior â€˜project managerâ€™ as your point of contact, which saves you time and should lead to a more integrated planning application. We look forward to hearing from you soon!
The Crestwood Team P.S Our new number is
Crestwood Environmental Laboratories Crestwood Environmental has recently opened a new environmental laboratory within the Rosalind Franklin building, at the University of Wolverhampton. This exciting development has strengthened our collaboration with the department of microbiology at the University and provides a great scientific platform for our growing business.
Our dust monitoring is carried out using the latest micro balances with the utmost precision, and the new Carl Zeiss microscope helps to identify unknown bacteria or fungus from waste sites. This enables us to document, photograph and gather microbiological data which helps our clients understand the science behind the monitoring surveys.
All microbiology work, previously sent to external laboratories, is now being analysed in -house which enables greater control and quicker turnaround of results for our clients. Crestwood undertakes all personnel dust and bioaerosol monitoring in house and provides agar plates for consultancies that use Anderson Samplers.
We have recently taken on a KTP Associate, in association with the University of Wolverhampton, to undertake eDNA research and analysis. We will be offering this service, in-house, for Great Crested Newts, other protected species, invasive species and species of conservation concern soon â€“ watch this space for further updates!
New Bioaerosol Protocol M9 The AFOR protocol will soon be replaced by the Environment Agency M9 guidance note. This will encompass all types of industries and sources where potential bioaerosol emissions would occur (stacks, biofilters, windrows,etc.), and not only green waste composting. The changes include a more risk based approach to determine the frequency of the monitoring, but at the same time could be more costly for the operators. The sampling will most probably need a change from Anderson samplers to the filter method as it is impractical to have 14 Anderson samplers that need to be loaded with agar plates simultaneously.
The filter method requires 3 samplers per sampling point but can be programmed to start and stop remotely. This change will incur considerable reinvestments for consultancies. The risk based approach will also mean that sites will have occasional (not required or every two years, as agreed with regulator); regular (annual); frequent (six monthly) or intensive (quarterly/bio-monthly or more) monitoring. The M9 has not been formally available for consultation but has been sent to consultants and operators for initial comments.
For more details please contact: Dr. Danen Appasamy (Environmental Scientist) Danen@crestwoodenvironmental.co.uk
Helping to Bring Buildings Back to Life Crestwood were commissioned by the project Architect when his clients found that proposed refurbishment work to several 17th century listed buildings in Chesham could not be progressed until a Heritage Statement was prepared. The building survey found that 18th century street frontage hid an integrated 17th century timber framed structure. Our survey revealed that the earlier timber-framed buildings were located within long narrow plots, set back from the street frontage and providing sufficient space in the 18th century to build more fashionable Georgian style buildings overlooking the street frontage. The Conservation Officer initially expressed reservations about specific details with the refurbishment proposals. Crestwood responded by providing advice and once final details were agreed, produced a justification statement for the proposals. It was agreed that the planned alterations were not detrimental to the historic fabric of the buildings and would in fact enable the buildings to be brought back into viable use.
For more details please contact: Mary Neale (Senior Archaeology Consultant) Mary@crestwoodenvironmental.co.uk
Innovative Building Restoration Techniques Crestwood were commissioned to fulfil the requirements of an archaeology condition and a building recording condition for the extension and alteration of a Grade II Listed cottage in Berkshire. Mary Neale (Senior Archaeology Consultant) agreed a Written Scheme of Investigation and undertook a watching brief during internal ground reduction of the parlour. The evidence proved that there were no surviving floors of early date or earlier precursors to the late medieval building within the area monitored. A detailed timber-framed survey is currently underway to fulfil requirements of the building recording condition. The focus of the recording is the timber-frame structure. A condition survey forms part of the process. Crestwood are providing innovative proposals to repair and restore the property whilst maintaining conservation standards for external oak posts, internal wall plates and joints. Repair solutions are agreed with the Conservation Officer before each stage of work. Detailed consultation about solutions ensures that the completed repairs will be acceptable in planning terms.
For more details please contact: Mary Neale (Senior Archaeology Consultant) Mary@crestwoodenvironmental.co.uk
Ecology Update: Improvise, Adapt and Overcome… As the unofficial slogan of the US Marine Corps, the Ecology Team here at Crestwood Environmental has had cause to adopt this motto at times over the past few months. The nature of the small beasts we work with means that, they too, seem to adopt the same motto.
Despite a clients’ best efforts in carrying out the correct surveys to fit to a planning or licensing timetable, protected species have a tendency to arrive at a site at the most inconvenient of times. Most often this is at the end of, or even outside, the survey season for that particular species, with Great Crested Newt and Bats as prime examples.
Where such species co-exist with humans, they need to be adaptable to changing conditions – millions of years of evolution has ingrained this clever but troublesome trait. As ecologists, we also need to be able to find solutions in such situations and provide our clients with the best advice in light of such knowledge.
This summer has been no exception, partly associated with unpredictable weather conditions. We have found bats roosting in buildings that are not included in any of the bat textbooks, and Great Crested Newts found breeding in ponds with no vegetation. We are constantly looking for solutions to these problems. Sometimes this can be the use of new techniques such as eDNA sampling for bat species and Great Crested Newts. However more often it requires a pragmatic approach from the consultant to gain as much of an insight into an evolving situation as possible.
Arriving at the office first thing in the morning, we are occasionally faced with a client in a difficult situation.
A recent case involved the late discovery of Slow Worms (Anguis fragilis) at a site in Hounslow. Our client had sought advice from a different ecological consultant who advised that no suitable reptile habitat was present. When construction works began early one morning and two Slow Worms were discovered, the Contractors correctly stopped works and sought our advice. By 9am the Crestwood Ecology team had dispatched two ecologists to London to provide immediate on-site advice. Later that day reptile survey equipment was installed, with reptile exclusion fencing installed the next day with ecological supervision.
For more details please contact: Lucy Cash or Jennifer Spelling (Senior Ecologists) Lucy@crestwoodenvironmental.co.uk Jennifer@crestwoodenvironmental.co.uk
Ecological Fieldwork? Thereâ€™s an App for that! Ecological observations in the field can be small and discreet e.g. single rare plants, badger latrines and water vole burrows. These small features are traditionally difficult to map accurately. This problem often occurs on larger sites e.g. quarries where the terrain is often complex, or in large arable fields which support homogenous and often indistinguishable stands of crops.
Sarah Goss (Assistant Environmental Consultant) has tested different types of mobile GIS solutions for conducting fieldwork in a more efficient and accurate way. The chosen mobile GIS application allows the creation of custom feature classes and datasets, working offline and on multiple projects to facilitate ease of data collection in the field.
The application is used to take photographs and record notes e.g. species lists, tree descriptions, HSI scores for ponds etc. allowing all the information for one field visit to be stored in the same place. With no more soggy paper, our ecologists are now able to record the exact size and type of habitat areas and gain a better understanding and context of the entire site by using aerial and terrain maps. A site boundary and proposals plans can also be uploaded onto the application illustrating the surveyors current position in relation to the boundary and development proposals.
The mobile GIS application allows for accurate on-site mapping of field observations from a GPS location. This, in combination with the ability to overlay the development proposals onto the GIS application, allows the ecologists to make more accurate initial on-site assessments of the potential effects a development may have. Back in the office our GIS specialists are able to quickly download the data and convert it into drawings to accompany our Extended Phase 1 Ecology Reports. We are also currently researching how the application can be used for other disciplines including environmental monitoring and landscape surveys.
For more details please contact: Sarah Goss (Assistant Environmental Consultant) or Matt Wall (Ecologist) Sarah@crestwoodenvironmental.co.uk Matthew@crestwoodenvironmental.co.uk
Construction Design and Management Regulations 2015 The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015) came into force on the 6th April 2015 and replaced the CDM 2007. The regulations form a key part of health and safety considerations that affect all construction and engineering projects and property development, including construction work for domestic households. The key changes to CDM 2015 include abolishing the role of CDM Co-ordinator and transferring to Principal Designer and Principal Contractor, which follows more closely with the requirements of the Temporary or Mobile Construction Sites Directive (Directive 92/57/ ECC). For more details please contact: Nicole Walker (Senior Environmental Consultant) Nicole@crestwoodenvironmental.co.uk
This change should further enhance the role of Client and domestic clients; however provisions are included to ease a domestic client's compliance burden. Crestwood have received both external and internal training on CDM 2015 to ensure they are aware of which projects may now require such considerations to ensure provisions are undertaken at an early stage to prevent potential delays at construction stage. Crestwood are delighted to have been appointed as a Principal Designer in relation to a former non-hazardous landfill site in St. Helens for the upgrade of landfill gas flare compound and the entire upgrade of the landfill gas and leachate management systems.
Lighting in the Landscape Karl Jones is a Director at Crestwood Environmental Ltd, a Chartered Landscape Architect and a Chartered Environmentalist. He is a current Member of the Technical Committee of the Landscape Institute and is helping to produce new interdisciplinary guidance on assessing the environmental effects of light and lighting. Karl has outlined below why the environmental effects of lighting on views and the landscape deserve more attention than it currently receives.
What is Landscape? Landscape is not just countryside; it encompasses cities, seascapes, suburbia etc. People interpret, value & associate with landscapes in different ways and to different degrees. Importantly, landscapes are people’s as well as wildlife’s ‘habitat’ and (often confusingly) ‘natural environment’ is often used instead of ‘landscape’. Nocturnal Landscapes Environments
But the nocturnal landscape is often overlooked. Little attention is paid to the sky’s contribution to a natural environment but landscape experience contributes to our well-being; and affects us on a daily basis, contributing to quality of life. Multifunctional landscapes, providing healthy places and access to ‘nature’, allow people to feel comfortable and at ease, reducing fatigue and
stress, and are restorative, uplifting and healing for both physical and mental health conditions. Lighting can have direct and indirect health effects (e.g. light spill means wasted energy means increased energy consumption potentially leading to increased emissions and adverse air pollution/climate effects). Integration of Health Impact Assessment (HIA) can be a useful way of minimising negative health effects and maximising positive health outcomes and will be requirement for consideration in EIA’s by May 2017. Valuing the Nocturnal Landscape Experience of a landscape at a given location is influenced by the surrounding context (remote locations) including the contribution of the sky and a general characteristic of
© CPRE – Norfolk
countryside is dark skies and absence of lighting. But lighting itself can be a key positive characteristic of a place, when done right, for example when ‘beautifying a city, ignoring more distant adverse effects! The European Landscape Convention is implemented (in England) by Natural England, whose policy is ‘all landscape matters’ and in the NPPF para 125 states: “…decisions should limit the impact of light pollution from artificial light on local amenity, intrinsically dark landscapes and nature conservation”. As all landscapes are valued and the natural environment, including tranquillity, is an important component of a healthy landscape consideration of landscape and visual amenity aspects should be considered as an aspect of assessing the impact of light pollution from artificial light. Defra has promoted the conservation of dark skies through Dark Sky Park and Reserve designation and appropriate proportionate policies. The Institution for Lighting Professionals (ILP) recommends that LPAs specify Environmental Zones for exterior lighting control. But a 2014 CPRE report (‘Shedding Light’) found that 35% had no policy on lighting, before even assessing
whether in-place policies were adequate.
So, is enough being done? All Landscape matters, and dark sky parks need not be confined to remote areas – the principles can enhance virtually all nightscapes. Environmental Zones are good for light spill and skyglow at that location but: Don’t
allow for visual or landscape effects on character remote from the E-zone.
allow for effects of internal light sources on external environment.
provide for positive lighting hierarchy and focussed aesthetic light detailing for architectural / heritage features.
Don’t allow for
lights from vehicles.
effective for controlling certain developments and domestic installations.
All of which can affect visual amenity and landscape character. People who have not had something good, do not miss it. But the absence of starlit skies removes a key component of our natural environment and part of a healthy, enjoyable, uplifting landscape that forms our habitat.
Whilst there are many factors that contribute to quality of life, the contribution of lighting effects should not be overlooked. Good multifunctional design, with multi-aspect environmental consideration is worth the effort, and results in sustainable solutions.
Guidance ILP’s PLG04 (written for Lighting Professionals, for determining effects in relation to nuisance and Environmental Zones) but acknowledges overlap with LVIA. It provides an outline of the LVIA process, but is based on old LI guidance.
There is currently lots of scope to streamline and combine the assessment process between disciplines to produce more inclusive assessments and better overall designs. Karl will be progressing the production of new guidance, with the Landscape Institute and other professional organisations, to help inform this important environmental aspect: Interim
Guidance – New Technical Guidance Note for Landscape Professionals to bridge the gaps between GLVIA3 and PLG04.
Landscape Professionals should follow the GLVIA 3 document when assessing the effects of lighting, as it gives more exacting requirements for LVIAs, but the process requires input on quantitative aspects and design solutions from Lighting Professionals. Lighting Professionals should follow the PLG04 document.
Assessment of the Environmental Effects of Visible Light and Lighting.
input into the production of the forthcoming British Standard on Lighting Assessment and bats.
Details to follow!
For more details please contact: Karl Jones (Director and Principal Landscape Architect) Karl@crestwoodenvironmental.co.uk
Environmental Permitting: Recent Project Success An Environmental Permit has been issued for inert waste landfill at a quarry in Leicestershire. Crestwood prepared the permit application and also a successfully approved Materials Management Plan for site engineering works which were undertaken in advance of permit issue. We have also secured the partial surrender of the Environmental Permit for a Recycling Centre in Cambridgeshire to remove all hazardous wastes codes and therefore significantly reduce annual subsistence fees payable by the client to the Environment Agency.
CIWM Councillor We are pleased to announce that Nicole Walker (Senior Environmental Consultant) has been appointed as a Chartered Institute of Wastes Management Councillor for the Midlands branch. Nicole will be attending regular meetings and assisting with future events.
Finally we have also successfully varied Environmental Permits for three anaerobic digestion and composting facilities to ensure they are compliant with the requirements of the Industrial Emissions Directive.
For more details please contact: Steve Barnes (Associate Director and Principal Environmental Consultant) Stephen@crestwoodenvironmental.co.uk
RICS SuDS CPD Events Solihull & Leicester April and May 2015 Fionnuala Collins (Landscape Architect) delivered CPD training titled â€˜Successfully designing and implementing SuDS to reduce surface flooding, improve water quality, create amenity and habitatâ€™ to the members of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.
Case studies demonstrated multifunctional use: flood control, amenity for people, habitat for wildlife and water quality treatment, as well as adding value to properties while achievable at lower monetary cost than traditional systems.
The presentations looked at the issues surrounding traditional drainage practice that moves water off-site as quickly as possible without considering downstream consequences (such as flooding, water pollution, erosion and damage to habitats), versus sustainable drainage systems that deals with water close to source, mimicking natural systems, without causing multiple cumulative downstream effects.
At the Leicester talk, Fionnuala was joined by Chryse Tinsley, Landscape Architect with Leicester City Council, who explained the particular drainage issues facing Leicester City and how they are tackling them through programmes of improvement and their own Sustainable Drainage Guide. http://www.leicester.gov.uk/media/179759/ suds-guidance-april-2015.pdf
The talk included an update on government policy, illustrated the benefit of retrofitting and explained a range of SuDS techniques.
For more details please contact: Fionnuala Collins (Landscape Architect) Fionnuala@crestwoodenvironmental.co.uk
Energy Focus: Solar to Make Water Savings Crestwood are pleased to be working with a major utility company to help successfully deliver solar schemes across a number of operational water treatment sites. The water company is embracing renewable energy solutions to include floating solar panels on reservoirs to help reduce energy costs and keep water bills down for customers. We are currently involved in the landscape and visual assessment, landscape design and community consultation on more than a dozen sites.
Other recent projects in the energy sector include many consented solar projects across England and Wales, wind turbine projects in Wales, a biomass power station in Derbyshire and several anaerobic digestion plants on farms in East Anglia. For more details please contact: Neil Furber (Associate Director and Principal Landscape Architect) Neil@crestwoodenvironmental.co.uk
Solar Success! Crestwood Environmental Ltd has recently helped secure planning permission for a largescale 16MW solar park in the South of England for a major solar development company. Senior Landscape Architect Adam Collinge conducted a full LVIA for the Site and designed the landscape mitigation and enhancement proposals. Around 70% of the Site was situated on BMV agricultural land. Whilst the local planning authority originally refused the planning application, the project team decided to appeal the decision. Following an in-depth 2 day hearing session, at which Adam appeared as an expert witness, the Planning Inspector found that: â€œthe [landscape] effect would be localised and limited in extent and would diminish over time so that the impact would reduce to minor in the longer term. Consequentlyâ€Ś there is compelling evidence to justify the use of BMV in these particular circumstances and that the initial adverse impact on the landscape would reduce and in the longer term would be outweighed by the substantial benefit arising from the generation of renewable energy.â€?
Crestwood are continuing to work on a number of renewable energy schemes. Whilst the Government subsidy regime is somewhat uncertain, it is clear that planning approval and support can still be obtained for a number of significant schemes. For more details please contact: Adam Collinge (Senior Landscape Architect) Adam@crestwoodenvironmental.co.uk
Top Marks Achieved! Crestwood are pleased to have been recently involved in helping to achieve planning permission for two schools projects in Milton Keynes where inputs on arboriculture were required.
â€˜This represents a number of months of hard work by this team in cooperation with the planner and for that I thank you. Please ensure that this is passed on where necessary to the people working in your organisations whom have contributed to thisâ€™
This was completed a week earlier than programmed and the permissions contained no pre-commencement conditions in line with the clientâ€™s target, who stated: For more details please contact: Karl Jones (Director and Principal Landscape Architect) Karl@crestwoodenvironmental.co.uk
SBEN Networking Event Nicole Walker (Senior Environmental Consultant) and Jessica Yeomans (Assistant Environmental Consultant) attended the annual SBEN networking event on the 15th July 2015. Nicole and Jessica had the opportunity to talk to others on a range of current topics in the waste industry including upcoming changes to ISO:14001, managing waste and water reduction & recovery.
Employee of the Quarter It goes without saying that all our staff members are hard working and committed to providing a first class service to our clients. To ensure individual employees’ efforts and achievements are recognised, we started an ’Employee of the Quarter’ programme; a vote that is ‘by the staff’ ‘for the staff’. We thought we would share the most recent results, along with some of the reasons why the winners were nominated. The accolade doesn’t go without a reward of course - a meal for two at Marco Pierre White’s restaurant in Birmingham!
July 2015 Matt Wall – Ecologist Nominated for always being willing to help and doing so with a smile on his face even when he is busy himself. For getting things done efficiently when asked, for being patient when explaining things, for being extremely hard working, committed, and surviving a very busy season!
April 2015 Sheldon – CAD and Environmental Visualisation Technician Nominated for his technical ability and always seeking the most efficient way of producing complex work; for being patient and polite when explaining things, and always being willing to help.
In Conversation withâ€Ś Matt Wall (Ecologist)
What is your role at Crestwood?
Why did you choose your career?
I'm one of the ecologists at Crestwood. I have a particular interest in botany and bats, and provide ecological support to clients for a variety of projects throughout the UK.
I've always been interested in wildlife and the outdoors, so it was natural for me to choose a career which involved both. Although a lot of time is spent in the office writing reports for the fieldwork, it's great that I have the opportunity to be outside as often as I do; especially when the weather is nice...which is usually at least one or two days in the year!
What is your favourite travel destination? Either Australia or Ireland. I toured Australia with family in 2003 and have always wanted to go back to see more of the country. I've also got a lot of family in Ireland (Waterford and Kilkenny) and spent a lot of my childhood holidays there, so it has always been my "go to" place to relax and chill out.
People would be surprised to know that: I've been trained in various martial arts since I was eight and have a purple belt in traditional jiu jitsu. Several years ago I entered European and British Open World United Martial Arts Championships (Mixed Martial Arts) and came second and third respectively.
What are your pet peeves? People using the spoon in the sugar pot to stir their drink and then putting it back into the aforementioned sugar pot!
What do you find most rewarding about your role? I once carried out a site visit where the site manager didn't understand why I was there or what I was doing, and I think he initially thought I was an inconvenience. After several visits to the site I built up a good rapport with him and during my last few visits we both ended up discussing what was on Springwatch that week. Building a good working relationship with clients and helping them to understand what we're trying to achieve is one of the more rewarding aspects of my role.
If there was a film produced about your life, who would play you and why? Probably Rupert Grint, in the same way he played Ron in Harry Potter. I think that would fit quite well. I'm always the one in the office bumping into things or doing something clumsy... Oh, and Iâ€™m ginger!
Contact Details: Matt Wall (Ecologist) Matthew@crestwoodenvironmental.co.uk