We are delighted to announce the launch of our new coastal services in order to meet demand for the protection and preservation of this important natural asset.
Our Principal Ecologist and Ecological Business Unit Manager Thomas Haynes, has set up the new service.
Coastal areas are highly sensitive, include a variety of coastal, terrestrial and marine wildlife and are often protected under various designations. They are also under increasing pressure from development and industry. These projects require careful planning, assessment and design to ensure they can move forward.
Thomas has specialised in coastal habitat assessment and project design for 10 years. His work includes the identification of a need to protect and maintain this key area of the UK landscape while undertaking a project to map all the saltmarshes in Scotland for the Scottish Saltmarsh Survey National Report, an area that amounts to over 7,000 ha across over 300 sites.
After undertaking this ambitious task, Thomas identified that his own specialist expertise in coastal landscapes combined with Lockhart Garratt’s 20 years of experience in relevant areas like ecology, landscape planning and mineral and waste restoration means that the company is perfectly placed to expand into offering a range of coastal services.
“Grasslands and coastal habitats have always been of great interest to me,” explains Thomas Haynes. “Saltmarsh, the connecting habitat between the land and sea found on the tidal zones of many of the UK’s major estuaries, provides crucial habitat for wading birds. Not only that, it is vital for natural flood protection and water filtration. Indeed, recent research shows that saltmarsh is an important habitat for storing and sequestering carbon, which is known as blue carbon in these areas.”
Despite their importance to the natural environment and the human one, thanks to the protection they bring against floods, coastal habitats are at increasing threat due to coastal development and intensive agricultural conversion.
“Most saltmarshes are legally protected in the UK, however this protection does not always guarantee the preservation of the fragile coastal landscape,” adds Thomas. “Also, there is much vital work to be done on our coastlines in the creation and restoration of this beautiful habitat that brings so many benefits to the ecosystem.”
For all these reasons, the careful management and assessment of coastal habitats is a crucial part of any coastal project. Due to the delicate coastal ecosystem, this kind of work can prove to be both complex and challenging and requires the highest standards of expertise.
As one of England’s largest independent ecological and planning consultants we can advise on the management and assessment of a wide range of coastal projects including supporting stakeholder engagement, conducting expert witness work and undertaking coastal habitat monitoring.
Would like to discuss our services further? Please contact Thomas Haynes on 01608 656 167.
Click below to view case studies relating to Tom’s coastal services: