Biodiversity in our local environment
ESB Networks is cognisant of the importance of biodiversity in the Irish landscape, and to ensure its activities are managed in a sustainable manner in relation to biodiversity. It is also aware of the requirements to identify potential impacts on biodiversity with the aim of avoiding or mitigating these impacts, and where feasible, work to enhance biodiversity.
We are responsible for the construction, maintenance and operation of various assets located within a range of protected ecological sites, including those designated under EU legislation, namely Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) and Special Protection Areas (SPA), as well as those designated under national legislation, namely Natural Heritage Areas (NHA). Potential impacts to biodiversity are considered when working within close proximity to protected sites, as well as other non-designated features of ecological interest. Where appropriate, specific work instructions and methods are put in place to ensure the protection of biodiversity during and following any such works.
Our staff regularly engage on various biodiversity-related issues, including Screening for Appropriate Assessment, biosecurity, and mitigation measure implementation, with ESB’s ecology staff (based in Engineering and Major Projects). The ecology staff also deliver training to ESB Networks staff in relation to biodiversity and ecology-related legislation.
ESB Networks has recently committed to undertaking a review of biodiversity at selected properties. This review will identify and quantify the extent of Biodiversity at these properties and develop targeted site-specific recommendations for Biodiversity gain where feasible, including the development and rollout of actions to support our contribution to the All Ireland Pollinator Plan where this fits with the needs of safety, business operations and property management.