In 2019 Shoney Wind Ltd (SWL) independently set out to devise a technically feasible kittiwake compensation mechanism which would be acceptable to statutory nature conservation bodies and satisfy technical, safety and engineering standards within the wind industry and meet requirements of IROPI (“imperative reasons of overriding public interest”). Following a global review of mitigation and enhancement measures trialled and tested for cliff-nesting seabirds, SWL formed an exclusive collaboration with the Institute for Seabird Research and Conservation (ISRC) in Alaska.
ISRC have carried out supplemental feeding of black legged kittiwake for 23 years, generating robust empirical data which evidences the positive effects of supplemental feeding on kittiwake breeding productivity. Armed with a strong evidence base for supplemental feeding, SWL set about designing a modular and adaptable artificial kittiwake tower, which crucially has internal access to enable supplemental feeding of kittiwake and enable ‘close-at-hand’ direct monitoring. In addition, SWL set out to ‘design-in’ safe access for ornithologists and ‘design-out’ potential hazards such as rope access work and use of cherry-pickers.
SWL appointed Francis and Lewis International (FLI) as the design engineers for the kittiwake tower. FLI is the only specialist designer of tower products & screw piles who manufactures steelwork & provides installation services in-house. FLI is a limited company, family owned and run by engineers and as a result are also proven innovators, which Shoney Wind recognised during initial discussions.
Tony Parker, Sales Manager at FLI, outlines ‘It has been fantastic journey working with Shoney Wind to design & develop an artificial feeding and nesting Kittiwake tower. This innovative design evolved using FLI’s extensive tower range and knowledge, and existing IPR for use on SWL’s bespoke application. The result is a truly unique tower that provides the nesting space for Kittiwakes, and also an internal ‘lab’ for ornithologists to carry out feeding, tagging and monitoring. Safety is of paramount importance at FLI, and having followed the design brief, the new tower enables users to work at height safely, negating the need for trained rope access personnel.”
SWL are pleased to announce that base case bespoke outline designs for kittiwake artificial nesting and supplementary feeding towers were completed in July 2020. The towers are modular, adaptable, relocatable, and recyclable and enable easy experimentation of the factors which influence kittiwake breeding productivity to be undertaken and easy monitoring access without the need for rope access. More information can be found here