Acoustic barriers

Echo Barrier 02Acoustic barriers are often seen as something to be used in town centre locations, positioned around the site perimeters to protect passers-by from noise pollution and minimise nuisance to neighbours. But, using such barriers within the site also reduces the risk of hearing  damage to operatives, and the need to wear bulky and uncomfortable hearing protection in hot weather. Many Echo Barrier 01systems are panellised and can be used to shield noisy items of plant and equipment within a site, preventing noise breakout, and resulting in a quieter and more comfortable working environment.

Use of such equipment away from town centres can also be beneficial for wildlife, reducing the risk of disturbance of protected species when working on sensitive sites, including nesting birds in early summer.

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Nesting birds and construction sites

Nesting birdsAutumn may seem a strange time to be thinking about nesting birds, but for the UK construction industry, now is the time to be planning winter works to prevent delays and disruption on site during next spring’s breeding season.

All wild birds have legal protection from harm from the start of nest-building until the time their young are no longer dependent on the nest. During that period, it is illegal to injure or destroy any wild bird, to remove, damage or destroy their nest whilst it is being built or in use, or to take or destroy their eggs. In other words, once a bird starts to nest on your site (or nearby if your works may cause it to abandon a nest), there’s not an awful lot you can do about it until it has finished raising its family, and leaves on its own accord.

However, there is nothing to prevent contractors from removing nesting opportunities during the autumn and winter months before nest-building starts in spring, and a little forward planning now can prevent potential delays next year. Steps that could be taken include:

  • Where trees and hedgerow are to be removed as part of the works, plan their removal prior to the start of the nesting season rather than during it
  • Plough or strip greenfield sites during late winter to remove sites for ground-nesting birds
  • Install bird netting, ledge bristles etc on buildings structures to remove opportunites to nesting sites
  • Include prevention measures in sub-contract packages to reduce the risk of birds taking up residence in new structures as the works progress

Acoustic intervention during early Spring (shot-firing, pre-recorded distress calls, etc) or regularly flying predators such hawks near the site can also be used to encourage birds to take up residence away from the site and its surrounding area, reducing the risk of delay or disruption to the planned works.