Onshore ecology

Having undertaken extensive ecological surveys along the cable route and at the new substation, a number of sensitive species were identified and actions were taken to minimise impacts on them during construction.

In order to protect badgers, under the appropriate licence, experienced ecologists closed existing setts and built new ones prior to the commencement of construction activities in order to ensure that badgers were not impacted by the works.

Approximately 9km of newt fencing was erected to ensure that the protected Great Crested Newt populations were not disturbed by the works, and new hibernacula were created, while some derelict ponds were also reinstated for the newts. Almost 40km of stock fence was also installed along with 15km of post and rail fence.

Further enhancements of the ecology and landscape of the wider local area, in response to the impacts of the scheme, were committed to through agreements with both West Sussex County Council and the South Downs National Park Authority.

These contributions relate to measures that fall outside the development boundary and include hedgerow enhancements, chalk grassland restoration, other ecological works and monitoring programmes for species, including the dormouse, and public rights of way improvements. The agreements are managed by West Sussex County Council and South Downs National Park Authority respectively, who were responsible for implementing the works and assigning the funds.