Blair is a Senior Project Ecologist who joined NRP in 2011.
He is responsible in NRP for project management of ornithological assessment work, involving the preparation of EIAs and Habitat Regulations Appraisals (HRAs) for development proposals, principally onshore wind farms, and providing advice on planning constraints, mitigation and monitoring. He advises clients on a range of ornithological issues including interpretation of data and highlighting relevant legislative obligations. Blair has been an expert witness on ornithological issues for a renewable energy developer at public inquiry.
With a particular interest in interpreting and analysing complex ornithological data, Blair has developed bespoke models, accounting for behavioural differences between species, evaluating collision mortality and its effects using Population Viability Analysis. These models include an oblique approach Collision Risk Model, revisions to SNH predictable and unpredictable Collision Risk Models, a bespoke goose Collision Risk Model; and corncrake and hen harrier population models (incorporating mortality interactions).
Since graduating from SAC Auchincruive with a Diploma in Conservation Management, Blair has over 25 years’ experience working with birds and their conservation. This includes over 15 years of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and renewable energy experience, both as a consultant and as a renewables casework advisor for Scottish Natural Heritage. Acting as SNH’s lead for certain complex, contentious or novel renewable energy casework, he provided statutory advice and guidance on the impact of renewable development on birds. This included providing advice for public inquiry. He also contributed to the development of SNH guidance in relation to birds, their interaction with wind energy developments and impact assessment.