January 20, 2014

Environmental Awareness

At Akers the protection of the natural environment is at the heart of everything we do. Even if an operation appears destructive to the passing observer we will have gone to great lengths to ensure minimal disturbance to the natural environment. This is particularly important when carrying out environmentally sensitive woodland clearance works.  Everything, from choice of equipment to time of year at which to commence works is carefully examined.

For example, the nesting season in the UK, as defined by Natural England, is from March 1st until July 31st therefore it is unwise to carry out woodland operations at this time. All nesting birds, including those often considered vermin such as crow or pigeon are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Particular attention must be paid to ground nesting species, particularly during access and egress from the site in question.

Other species which could be affected by woodland operations include all seventeen species of British bat, the Dormouse, Great Crested Newt, Otter, Sand Lizard, Smooth Snake and in some cases the Natterjack Toad. As specialist ecological contractors, all our staff are trained to recognize these protected species.

Akers are particularly concerned with minimizing the environmental impact of our vital mitigation work and therefore choose equipment wisely. For example: we use vegetable based chain oil when operating chainsaws in sensitive areas and plan safe areas for storing fuel so as to minimize any risk of contamination to water courses or vegetation.

Much of the work we undertake is done under strict licensing from Natural England and we work closely with ecologists and land owners to ensure that the conservation of our National environment is not compromised. This could mean operating within the management plan of a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) or within the license obtained for a named species such as Great Crested Newts. Training our staff to a high standard ensures that any mitigation works carried out are done safely, professionally and with the welfare of the environment at the forefront.