As part of pre-construction work The Wildlife Partnership were commissioned to do a PSS of the route of the M77 and Glasgow Southern Orbital to check for otters, badgers and water voles, to assess any impacts on these species and to devise mitigation to ensure no significant impacts during construction or operation. Considerable badger and otter activity was noted and a mitigation plan drawn up which included licensing at a number of locations to ensure minimal disturbance to an otter holt and to a number of badger setts. Overall mitigation included installation of a series of tunnels, ledges and dry pipes, extensive mammal fencing to prevent access onto the carriageway and to guide animals into the tunnels, creation of an artificial otter holt and habitat creation to offer good cover and minimise future disturbance by stock or people. The Wildlife Partnership acted as Ecological Adviser on the route during construction and worked very closely with the contractors during this process. Post construction otter monitoring was carried out for a period of 5 years to assess levels of activity and to consider any impacts of construction and operation.
Leonie Alexander with contractor at Fenwick Water bridge which has become a regular lying up site for otters
Inspection of the effectiveness of the ledge install for use by the otters