The Hinkley Connection project in southern England

The Hinkley Connection project involves connecting Bridgwater and Seabank near Avonmouth via 48.5 km of overhead lines and 8.5 km of underground cables. The project is a significant investment in the region’s electricity network and will connect new sources of low-carbon energy, including Hinkley Point C, to homes and businesses. J Murphy is installing 10.7 km of underground 132-V cable between Nailsea and Portishead for National Grid as part of the Hinkley Point C connection scheme.

Niche operators

Working closely with J. Murphy & Sons and the RSK environmental management team, RSK Habitat Management completed a wide variety of multispecies ecological mitigation work along the cable route. We supplied, installed and maintained up to 4440 m of semi-permanent amphibian fencing, 1335 m of temporary amphibian fencing and 440 pitfall traps. Our ecological teams completed destructive search work on great crested newt habitats, involving removing all the hedgerows and stumps, bank reprofiling and searching small, discrete areas of grassland. We also undertook copious reptile mitigation work, such as carrying out habitat manipulation on 18 ha of vegetation. The team also supplied and installed three pole-mounted and two tree-mounted barn owl boxes. We had to close temporarily 18 individual badger setts with 37 sett entrances while also supplying and installing 740 m2 of ground-proofing mesh. We completed widespread vegetation clearance, including felling 12 mature trees and clearing and processing 200 m of hedgerow to facilitate constructing bell-mouth and site access.

A collaborative approach with the RSK environmental management team and the J. Murphy project team helped to ensure that all the ecological constraints were removed and discharged within a single ecological season, thereby helping to prevent costly delays.