The world’s largest digital aerial surveys of marine wildlife continued into their second year off the coast of New York and were joined by a major offshore survey off the coasts of North and South Carolina. Between them the two projects will survey an area of over 29,000 square miles – more than three times the size of Wales.

A basking shark photographed during a digital aerial survey

In the UK, ongoing work for many of the country’s leading offshore wind developers included wildlife surveys for Vattenfall at the proposed Norfolk Boreas offshore wind farm and for Scottish Power Renewables.

Survey aircraft in flight in a blue sky

Regulator Natural Resources Wales also turned to our specialist ornithology team for highly detailed aerial surveys and analysis at the Carmarthen Bay Special Protection Area.

Common scoter in flight

As well as ornithologists, our teams also include experts in marine mammals. They hosted a workshop so that developers and regulators could better understand how we locate and identify signs of marine mammals in our digital aerial survey imagery.

Aerial survey birds eye view of pod of dolphins

On land, innovative cable route surveys for Vattenfall and DONG Energy allowed us to create virtual maps of the proposed routes that electricity cables may follow, connecting offshore wind farms with the national grid.

3D computer generated image of aircraft carrying out an aerial survey over fields

Away from the renewable energy sector, water companies are increasingly seeing the benefits of high-resolution aerial surveys. Scottish Water asked us to survey over 350 km of water supply pipes and will use the data gathered for a range of purposes, from planning site visits to searching for leaking pipes.

Survey aircraft over hills

Our specialist survey aircraft also headed to the beach this summer, where they surveyed coastlines in Cornwall and the North West as part of a massive programme of coastal monitoring around the entire UK.

Aerial view of beaches and coastline of South West UK


Image credit: Common scoter (resized) by Marton Berntsen licenced under CC BY 4.0

If you have any queries, please contact Dr Stuart Clough, director.
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