Spent Friday with a person from English Heritage helping them with their upcoming hydro guidance. Specifically the development of hydros and how to work with and around heritage features. We started at Craflwyn looking at the upcoming 100kw systems next to the scheduled ancient monument and discussed the NT’s latest development (Thanks to Chris Lambart) which is a simple tool to evaluate development impact on a sites special nature and includes looking at the impact with and without mitigation. If the shift in the impact more than slight after mitigation then we don’t proceed with the development. Craflwyn was the first site we used to develop the tool. The tool is now being assessed on a few more areas. We then went on to discuss all sort of issues around the development of these systems but what came out again and again from the day was the bespoke nature of every hydro. Ecological, technological (such as grid) need addressing first before the impact assessment. A hydro can be a non starter before you get anywhere near assessing its impact on setting (grid, ecology, archaeology, buildability and so on). It will be interesting to see what come from English Heritage on this area of work
Later we went up to see the progress on the Hafod y Llan 640kw hydro and I was blown away by the amount of work completed in the last week. The track for access and pipe route is now complete (it was the golden spike moment when I arrived as both digger met on the mountain) Big digger will now be pulling out and the small digger will work down the new track tidying and getting the site ready for the pipe. Its amazing the skill of the drivers who were working in 3m wide work corridors to avoid impact on archaeology and ecology.