As part of a post-construction sampling programme to partially discharge Condition 27 of the Beatrice OWF Section 36 consent, APEM Ltd was commissioned by Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd (BOWL) to undertake a benthic grab survey at the Beatrice offshore wind farm (OWF) site in July 2021 (Year 2 post-construction). In addition to this survey, an underwater video survey was conducted at four of the turbine locations with further details provided in APEM (2022).
Overall, the current monitoring survey indicates that there has been a shift in the dominant biotope from MoeVen during the 2020 survey to EpusOborApri during the 2021 survey, with no replicates assigned to the MoeVen biotope in 2021, which is more consistent with the results of the 2015 pre-construction survey. This shift is apparent in the OWF site and at the reference stations. Data to date suggest that biotopes at the site are mainly transitional between the MoeVen and EpusOborApri biotopes and the benthic communities and associated sediment types naturally fluctuate between these biotopes. Based on monitoring to date there is no evidence that the Beatrice OWF development has had an impact on the MoeVen biotope beyond changes due to natural variation.