A marine intertidal Phase 1 biotope mapping survey was undertaken on behalf of Statoil Wind Limited (SWL) during August 2013 to map the intertidal (eulittoral) biotopes within the coastal area being considered for the export cable route landfall for the Hywind Scotland Pilot Park Project (‘Project’). The area surveyed, as shown in Figure A.1, extends approximately 1.5 km from Buchanhaven in the north, where the River Ugie discharges to sea, to the sea defences located at the North Harbour in the south.
The aim of the survey was to characterise and map baseline ecological conditions within the survey area to enable accurate assessment and to identify potential for impacts of the Project on intertidal ecology. The survey area has not been the subject of any previous intertidal biotope mapping. However, a study of the River Ugie was undertaken by Bennett and McLeod (1998). The desk-based assessment undertaken to support the survey (Section 3) cited a lack of available biodiversity records for the area and also described the site based on photographic material collected during a geotechnical walkover survey. The desk-based assessment was used to describe the site, to determine whether any habitats and species of conservation value were likely to be present and to determine the types of biotopes likely to be present within the survey area.