The scheme offers a number of benefits to local ecology:
Fish (game fish, coarse fish, eel, lamprey)
The fish (and eel etc) populations of the River Tyne have been a major consideration in designing the scheme to have a positive on local ecology. See the section on Fish for detailed information on this extremely important aspect.
It is proposed to provide a 500mm wide otter ledge on the south bank of the river as part of the scheme. It is considered that this offers an overall benefit to the scheme, not just from the provision of a route for otters but also for the potential to add cameras and education for wildlife enthusiasts and visitors to the town.
See sections 11.3 and 11.4.2 of the design report for more information
Small areas of this invasive weed have been identified as part of the detailed design work and flagged to landowners to take action.
Neutral impacts to local ecology include:
- Trees & bushes – although a number of trees and bushes would be removed to enable construction to take place, the extent of this would be limited and replanting would take place. None of the very large trees on Tyne Green would be impacted. The area would be restricted to a portion of the south bank immediately east downstream of Hexham Bridge and regrowth would occur quickly.
- Bats – the scheme would not impact directly on any roosting bats in the bridge structure. The occasional bat may be present in any suitable crevice at any time of the year in small numbers and so works that may involve heavy machinery or vibrations would be timed to avoid the hibernation period. This will ensure that the development has as little negative affect on bat conservation status as possible
See section 11.4.1 of the design report for more information
- Birds – construction method would take steps to avoid destruction of any potential bird nests.
See section 11.4.3 of the design report for more information
- Flood flows – which will not be affected by the scheme. Additionally, the scheme will have negligible effect on downstream flooding and the upstream flood risk will not be increased.
See section 11.5.2 of the design report for more information
Hexham River Hydro, an energyshare project made possible by British Gas and supported by Carbon Leapfrog, Cooperative Enterprise Hub, Vattenfall and The Naturesave Trust