NRP regularly undertake Ornithological Impact Assessments, under applicable Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Regulations, to determine the potential impacts of proposed developments on birds and the likelihood of their occurrence. In judging whether impacts are significant or not, three factors are taken into account:
The significance of potential effects is determined by integrating the assessments of these factors in a reasoned way, using professional judgement.
Firstly, Nature Conservation Importance relies on the most up-to-date, independent conservation advice on species’ trends, their vulnerability and future prospects; first and foremost it recognises the legal protection afforded to potentially affected species. Secondly, the magnitude of likely impacts involves consideration of their spatial and temporal magnitudes alongside the sensitivity of species to these impacts. Finally, in making judgements on significance, consideration is given to the national and regional trends of the potentially affected species, and how the integrated impacts may impinge on the conservation status of the species involved at these geographical levels; fundamentally, species should remain in favourable conservation status.
In accordance with the EIA Regulations, each likely impact is evaluated and classified as either ‘significant’ or ‘not significant’. In making professional judgements on significance by this integration, consideration is given primarily to regional trends within potentially affected bird populations.