Senior Offshore Renewables Specialist
As Natural England we advise on protected areas and the habitats and species within them... I'm proud of early pre-application engagement with developers... we have early conversations about a wind farm, where the array will be, where the cable will come from - and those early discussions about how to avoid designated sites or mitigate any environmental impact as much as possible. I really enjoy my job - I feel like it makes a difference on the ground both at a project level and strategically
As Natural England we provide advice to protect designated sites so the special areas of conservation.. special protection areas... We've also got marine conservation zones and sites of special scientific interest so our advice is to protect those and their habitats and species within them.
I would say that I'm most proud of early pre-application engagement with Developers, when we've had those early conversations about a wind farm, where it could be positioned, where the array may be, where the cable will come through and those early discussions about how to avoid designated sites or mitigate any environmental impacts as much as possible. When you get to the end of that pre-application process and the development consent order is submitted.
I really enjoy my job. I feel like our advice makes a difference both at the project level, but we also get to influence policy as well. You feel like your your advice is is really making a difference both at project and and strategically.
I've had lots of survey experience early on in my career... it really helped because you get to go out you get lots of detailed species knowledge and ecology knowledge. You learn all the survey techniques and you can then use that knowledge to provide really good detailed casework advice. We provide a lot of statutory casework say either terrestrially or marine across many Industries - so we've got a really unique position, we get a really good range of experience, and then we use that to then provide our advice to government in relation to policy development and changes in legislation.
I'm involved in lots of research within Natural England, so every year we get the opportunity to identify evidence gaps. If we think there is something missing that needs to be filled, we can then put proposals forward. I've got two projects that I am managing at the moment... we've got one which is a it's a literature review Into the impacts of floating wind compared to fixed... it's an emerging industry, and we're looking at 5GW of floating Wind by 2030. We aim to identify where there are environmental impacts and where those can be mitigated - and also where there are still remaining evidence gaps so can hopefully we can look to fill those. This will hopefully provide the evidence base that we need so we can advise engineers as they go forward with their designs, as to what could potentially be the least impactful.
Our advice on operations actually needs to be different because they are so different so hopefully that project will go on to inform industry as they consider their design envelope and help them sort of fill those evidence gaps so that when we get to consenting hopefully it's that we have those that information that we will need personally
I really like working in this sector because you get to work at the the cutting edge. Our advice contributes to [addressing] both the biodiversity and the climate emergencies simultaneously. It is quite fast paced, you get to see the impact of your advice on the ground, and you can see it going through the consenting process. It's really it's really rewarding.