Nest Closures Demonstrate Value of Field Based Planning & Ecology Database

Fusion’s ongoing success in closing existing barn owl nests is demonstrating the value of Field Based Planning (FBP) – the software application that it introduced and implemented.

FBP allows the accurate monitoring of activities across Area Central by managing a high volume of complex information from multiple databases within ArcGIS, another Fusion-inspired software platform. This means colleagues and subcontractors no longer have to wait for progress updates but can check in close to real time on FBP. This is of particular importance because over 300 nest site closures are required to be completed throughout Area Central by our AWE1e team as part of an increased scope of work.

Peter Stanbury, Pre-Contract Assistant Project Manager, said: “Without the use of the AWE1a GIS Ecology Database, it would be very hard to communicate to the entire team all updates where ecology mitigation has been completed. The Fusion GIS Database Web Viewer gives updates on the status of the mitigation in a short time period to show (in this case) which nest sites have been closed, so project teams can use the information and progress with their works such as the preparation of ecology permits.

“It must be said, we are the final piece in the jigsaw: the delivery team and a specialist barn owl subcontractor has done the hard work of planning, monitoring, assessing and closing the nest sites.”

Alex Towse, Pre-Contract & Pre-Delivery Lead, commented: “The inception of the Ecology Database in summer 2017 enabled the scoping of the AWE1cdef suite of mitigation packages by processing the huge volume of survey data routewide. This has been pivotal to communicating the scope to the Fusion team and procurement of the supply chain. With the Database integrated into the wider Fusion GIS system & FBP, it is great to see the end product of as-built mitigation data feeding back through to close off the process, and show completed works in real time.”

Eka Asuquo and Chris Pace, Senior Project Engineer and Assistant Project Manager respectively, are leading on this work. Eka added: “It feels good to be part of this team as this package of works is very different from work I’ve done before. It’s also given me a much better understanding of barn owls and how they behave.”

As a protected species, there are strict legal guidelines around mitigation work with barn owls. The birds cannot be moved from roosts they are occupying, and any relocation / erecting of replacement nest boxes needs to be 175 metres away from the boundary of construction work. Another consideration is barn owls’ breeding season, usually between April and September each year, which means their nest sites can be inspected but cannot be closed if they are occupied.

The delivery team’s original scope of 74 nest closures and installation of 25 nest boxes has risen to include approximately 312 closures and 120 nest boxes respectively.

With barn owls being a protected species, their exact location cannot be made public.