Environmental Assessment

The world that we humans have shaped around us in the last few decades faces twin crises – those of climate change and biodiversity loss.  Both are complex and intertwined, but one thing is for sure – we need all to do our part in tackling both.  Environmental investigation and assessment has always been a core skill of our staff, and since the inception of the company we have sought to increasingly deploy these on projects that make a difference in tackling these crises.  

Peatland and soils

Peatlands are one of the jewels of the British Isles, providing important habitat, helping to control flooding and locking up carbon.  Soils more widely are also critical to both habitat health and our battle against climate change. Understanding their spatial distribution, health and hydrology is critical to our stewardship of these environments.  Here at Yellow Sub we are experienced in the investigation and assessment of peat and its hydrology.  Whether helping upland renewable energy projects avoid and minimise impacts on peat, or providing advice on the management of nature reserves and Sites of special Scientific Interest, our staff are passionate about the subject, and experienced working in the sensitive environments.  We provide a range of services, from soil management plans to peat resource assessments, peat stability assessment and input to carbon balance assessments.

Rewilding, environmental stewardship and flood alleviation

Over the centuries, the actions of our predecessors have significantly altered many aspects of our environment, including straightening and canalising watercourses, installing artificial drainage and altering landscapes.  In the face of more intense and prolonged rainfall as a result of climate change, this work to hurry water from the land needs to be undone in order to help us become more resilient as a society.  Here at Yellow Sub we have been involved in a number of rewilding schemes, providing investigation and assessment of the soils and the behaviour of groundwater, feeding into their design.  Our expertise in groundwater assessment has been deployed in flood alleviation schemes across the UK, helping ensure that their design is sympathetic to the behaviour of groundwater and hence maximising their effectiveness.

Nutrient assessment and management

The combination of agricultural and developmental pressures has led to a crisis in river water quality across the UK. Decades of insufficient action on the subject means that many of our rivers suffer from an excess of nutrients from a combination of both diffuse and point sources.  Understanding the impact of new development on this nutrient load is becoming increasingly necessary in order to prevent this being exacerbated, and in order to secure planning permission.  Our hydrologists and environmental scientists are at the forefront of nutrient neutrality assessment and have helped to unlock a variety of development schemes through providing timely and effective advice. 

Green and blue infrastructure

The way our settlements interact with the natural environment has a big impact on those environments and on the health and wellbeing of the populace.  This is increasingly being recognised during the process of planning policy-making by Local Authorities and other organisations, placing greenspaces and watercourses (green and blue infrastructure) at the heart of new development plans.  We have a wealth of experience here at Yellow Sub in the gathering of an evidence base and the identification of projects and plans that help drive forward the integration of blue infrastructure into development policies.  

Carbon auditing and tracking

The process of tracking the carbon footprint of projects is becoming an increasing focus for clients, and is now a standard requirement of projects that have been procured by various public bodies in the UK.  Partnering with one of the country’s largest civils contractors, we have created bespoke carbon auditing and tracking software, with a particular focus on earthworks-led civils projects.  Our approach is to undertake a baseline assessment of carbon footprint at the point of tender win, and then revisit this on a regular basis through the project lifecycle.  A project completion audit is then undertaken, helping to track performance against baseline.  This then provides a useful tool for the client to see how they have performed in their efforts to reduce their footprint through the course of the scheme and start t understand how decisions made focussed on cost and programme may have corresponding impact on their footprint.  The carbon auditing expertise and tools held within our team can be cross-deployed to other development and civils sectors – give us a call to see how we can help.


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