TII has published the following guidance documents to provide a step by step approach to minimising impacts on badgers, bats, watercourse crossings and wetland archaeology prior to and during the construction phase of national road schemes.

Management of Waste

The new standards on the Management of Waste from National Road Construction Projects takes account of the latest development in waste legislation and waste policy in relation to the development of national road projects. A key purpose of the document is to help all parties appreciate the complicated legal framework which governs the management of waste generated by national road projects. In addition to this, it sets out good practice to ensure that effective waste management remains a priority throughout the construction stage of these types of developments.

The purpose here is to encourage the minimisation of the environmental impacts of roads-related construction waste, as well as the volume of the actual waste being generated and to facilitate compliance with the provisions of the Waste Management Acts (1996-2011). Finally, these standards will assist designers in the development of Construction and Demolition waste plans in Environmental Impact Assessment Reports and to prepare works requirements for national road contracts.

Treatment of Otters

The guidance document Guidelines for the Treatment of Otters prior to the Construction of National Road Schemes sets out procedures for the protection of otters during the construction of national road schemes. It details procedures for the exclusion of otters from holts and it contains a new specification for mammal fencing.

Treatment of Badgers

The badger guidance document Guidelines for the Treatment of Badgers prior to the Construction of National Road Schemes addresses surveying techniques, badger exclusion methodologies and design specifications for badger resistant fencing and mammal underpasses. Please note the revised specification for badger resistant fencing in Figure 2.

Treatment of Bats

The document on bats Guidelines for the Treatment of Bats during the Construction of National Road Schemes describes surveying techniques prior to tree felling and hedgerow removal and building demolition as well as exclusion methodologies.

Watercourse Crossing

The watercourse crossing document Guidelines for the Crossing of Watercourses during the Construction of National Road Schemes outlines measures relating to the conservation of fish, riparian and aquatic habitats and includes general proposals to cater for the passage of mammals under bridges and culverts on roadways.

Wetland Archaeology

The guideline document on wetland archaeology Guidelines for the Testing and Mitigation of the Wetland Archaeological Heritage for National Road Schemes will assist all those involved in the archaeological testing, field survey, excavation and post-excavation phases of archaeological mitigation in wetlands on national road schemes. The Guidelines are intended to promote best practice working in wetland environments and when recording archaeological remains, in particular organic material, preserved in a variety of wetland contexts. For the purposes of these guidelines the definition of a wetland includes peatlands, rivers, lakes (current and former), estuaries, seasonally flooded areas (such as callows) and coastal areas. The document outlines a range of general recommendations that need to be considered in approaching archaeological work in wetland environments; practical approaches relevant to both assessment and excavation, and a select bibliography offering comparative methodologies to projects in wetland environments.

Trees, Hedgerows and Scrub

The document Guidelines for the Protection and Preservation of Trees, Hedgerows and Scrub Prior to, During and Post Construction of National Road Schemes outlines important relevant legislation as well as the biological requirements of trees. Approaches to pre construction work are addressed and it outlines detailed methods for the protection of trees during the construction phase.

Noxious Weeds and Non-Native Invasive Plant Species

The authority has revised its guidance document Guidelines on the Management of Noxious Weeds and Non-Native Invasive Plant Species on National Road Schemes (Revision 1, December 2010). The Authority recognises the importance of controlling the spread of noxious weeds and non-native invasive plant species and ensuring any activities associated with the planning, construction and operation of national road schemes comply with the requirements of the Noxious Weeds Act, 1936, and the Wildlife (Amendment) Act, 2000. This guidance document addresses the predominant noxious weed and non-native invasive species likely to be encountered during the planning, construction and maintenance of national road schemes.

Environmental Operating Plan Guidelines

The Authority has implemented a system of documenting compliance with environmental commitments and requirements during the construction of national road schemes. This system involves main contractors engaged in the construction of national road schemes producing, implementing and maintaining Environmental Operating Plans (EOPs). The key elements of such plans are the:

  1. Appointment of an Environmental Manager by the main contractor;
  2. Incorporation of environmental commitments and requirements;
  3. Outlining methods by which construction work will be managed to meet these environmental commitments and requirements;
  4. Identification of roles and responsibilities of the main contractor’s staff having regard to the main contractor’s organisational structure;
  5. Incorporation of procedures for communicating with the public and communicating within the main contractor’s organisation;
  6. Incorporation of procedures for environmental awareness training;
  7. Incorporation of monitoring procedures and responses to the results of monitoring, where contractually required; and
  8. Provision of a system of audit and review with regard to the effectiveness of the plan.

Main contractors are provided with guidance with regard to the production, implementation and maintenance of such plans in the Authority’s Guidelines for the Creation, Implementation and Maintenance of an Environmental Operating Plan (National Roads Authority, 2007).

Landscape Treatments

In 2006, the Authority published A Guide to Landscape Treatments for National Road Schemes in Ireland (National Roads Authority, 2006) (the ‘Guide’). This policy document outlines the philosophy adopted by the NRA in relation to the design of Irish roadside landscapes; in particular, it espouses the use of an ‘ecological landscape design’ approach to landscape design and the establishment of landscape treatments on national road schemes.
Whilst the Guide illustrates in detail the NRA’s philosophy with regard to landscape treatments, the NRA considers it appropriate to supplement the Guide with a document outlining some of the practical steps required to implement the NRA’s philosophy on landscape design and landscaping works in the various phases of national road project management. The purpose of the Guidelines on the Implementation of Landscape Treatments on National Road Schemes in Ireland is not to summarise the Guide. These guidelines, instead, focus on the roles and responsibilities of the various relevant parties involved during the project management phases, including the: Environmental Impact Assessment (‘EIA’) landscape and visual expert; EIA ecological expert; Employers’ or Authority’s Representative; Contractor or PPP Company; Designer; and, those involved in the execution of the landscape treatments, e.g. landscape sub-contractor and nursery/supplier. It is anticipated that this approach will improve the implementation of the Authority’s philosophy on landscape design.
TII has collaborated with the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan in developing a sector specific guideline to improve the design and landscape management of our Transport Corridors for our pollinators and overall biodiversity. The aims and requirements of the guide will help inform the landscape strategy of any new scheme from the design and planning stage, through to implementation on the ground and future management. The Guide can be found at Pollinator Friendly Management of Transport Corridors.
TII has compiled a FAQ section to provide answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding TII landscape treatments.