During the summer APEM’s aircraft-mounted survey cameras will collect over 100,000 high-resolution images in and around the wind farm, with each pixel of every image corresponding to two centimetres on the sea’s surface.
The data collected from the images will help scientists and regulators to determine the requirements for monitoring birds in the wind farm area, particularly for various species of tern such as sandwich, common and little terns.
These slender seabirds colonise and breed along the coast of North Norfolk, including in a Special Protection Area.
Ten surveys will be completed in 2018, carried out twice per month from April to August as this is the key time of year for breeding terns.
APEM’s head of ornithology, Dr Mark Rehfisch, said: “Our scientific understanding of how birds behave around wind farms has advanced in leaps and bounds in recent years, thanks in no small part to advanced aerial monitoring techniques.
“This is equally important before, during and – in this case – after construction of the wind farm and we’re delighted to be working closely with Ørsted to collect high quality data.”
Matthew Wright, managing director at Ørsted UK, said: “Race Bank is a fantastic infrastructure project and underlines Ørsted’s contribution to the UK’s energy transition.
“It is a hugely significant and innovative project, featuring the first ever turbine blades to be made in Hull and becoming our first wind farm in the UK to be operated using a new service operation vessel.
“It’s also one of the fastest projects we have ever built, with a fantastic safety record, and this is testament to the hard work of the project team and the great relationship we have with our partners.”
Further surveys of the birds and wildlife in the wind farm area may take place in the following years.
If you have any queries, please contact Laura Jervis, senior ornithologist.
Alternatively you can email us here. Or call 0161 442 8938.