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Cherry Knowle, Sunderland

Cherry Knowle Hospital was built by Sunderland County Borough in 1895 as a place where ‘pauper lunatics could find solace and safety’, and hence the selection of a site on sloping land above Ryhope with spectacular views across the North Sea. In 1941 the Ryhope General Hospital was constructed adjacent to it to treat soldiers who were injured at Dunkirk. Following the relocation of these hospital facilities in recent years, the site is proposed for housing development. Penn Associates undertook ...
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Blyth Power Station, East Sleekburn

Since demolition of the Blyth coal-fired power station in the 2000’s, the site has remained largely undisturbed. In recognition its value as an employment site, in particular for potential off-shore activities, the East Sleekburn Local Development Order was granted by Northumberland County Council for part of the 40ha site in 2013. The East Sleekburn site is ecologically sensitive being located adjacent to the Northumberland Coast Special Protection Area, the Northumberland Shore Site of Special Scientific Interest, a Marine Conservation Zone ...
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Wind turbines for Northumberland Schools

Northumberland County Council has been assessing the feasibility of erecting micro wind turbines at a range of Council properties including some school sites. Penn Associates has visited and surveyed a number of school sites across Northumberland as part of the planning process ...
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BREEAM Ecology Assessment for the Chemical Industry

Johnson Matthey is a speciality chemicals company with a production plant in Middlesbrough. Its products include active pharmaceutical ingredients, catalysts for emission control and biorenewables, and components for the medical industry. When constructing a new laboratory facility in 2012, Johnson Matthey wanted it to achieve a high environmental performance standard and therefore selected a voluntary measurement rating for green buildings that was established in the UK by the Building Research Establishment (BRE) known as BREEAM. Ecology ...
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Rescue of the Sticky Catchfly

Penn Associates Ecology Ltd helped with conservation efforts to protect the sticky catchfly (Lychnis viscaria) a rare and attractive wild plant. Restricted to dry rocky outcrops, this plant is classified internationally as ‘Near Threatened’ in the UK, being found at only two sites in Wales and about a dozen in Scotland, mainly in the Cairngorms and Ochil Hills. The sticky catchfly is the County Wildflower for the City of Edinburgh where it has grown on rocks in Holyrood Park for ...
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Ecological Impacts of Wind Turbines

Applicants for single, small scale wind turbines may find that they are required to make an assessment of the likely impacts of the turbines on flora and fauna. This may include a habitat survey to identify plant communities affected by the ground works required to install the turbine. In addition surveys to assess the impact on bat and bird populations may be required. Penn Associates Ecology Ltd have undertaken surveys of proposed wind turbine sites in Cumbria and County Durham ...
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Flora Locale Training Day

As part of the ongoing biodiversity training we provide to Tarmac, Penn Associates Ecology Ltd organised a training day with Flora Locale, a UK charity which promotes the conservation of native wild plant communities. Held at Tarmac's Threshfield and Swinden Quarries in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, the attendees learnt plant identification skills as well as the conservation value of semi-natural calcareous grasslands. They also looked at the recent innovative restoration of Threshfield Quarry, in which natural regeneration of calcareous ...
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The Bede Campus,Sunderland College

Penn Associates has been part of the project team working on proposals for Sunderland College's Bede Campus which provides academic and vocational courses for sixth form students. New performing arts and sports centres are planned along with outdoor performance space. Our role in the team was to undertake habitat and protected species surveys of the site, including bat surveys of existing buildings which will require demolition. As 'Suitably Qualified Ecologists' we also prepared a BREEAM ecology assessment of the proposals, ...
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Training the Managers

Tarmac's Ravelrig Quarry near Edinburgh hosted a quarry managers biodiversity training day, organised by Penn Associates in May. Advice on species identification was provided by Historic Scotland's Conservation Ranger whilst the Pentand Hills Ranger Service lead a trip to the Pentland Hills Regional Park to look at wetland and raised bog habitats ...
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Hamsterley Hall Planning Inquiry

Rachel Penn was recently called as expert witness at the planning inquiry into proposed development at Hamsterley Hall, County Durham. Hamsterley Hall is a Grade II* 18th century country house which was the historic home of Viscount Gort and before that the Surtees family. It requires extensive restoration and renovation to protect its historic features and render it fit for habitation. To fund these works the current owners are proposing to construct 60 houses adjacent to Hamsterley Mill, in association ...
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Gift to Durham University Botanic Gardens

Penn Associates Ecology Ltd recently assisted Tarmac with a very special gift to the Durham University Botanic Garden. Turfs, which contain wild plants that are characteristic of magnesian limestone grassland, were lifted from Old Quarrington Quarry and donated to the gardens. The turfs, which include a number of wild orchids, will be carefully propagated and displayed in the magnesian limestone beds at the gardens. This is part of a wider magnesian limestone habitat creation and management project which Tarmac are ...
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Broadoak Quarry welcomes Chris Packham

Chris Packham was a welcome guest at Tarmac's Broadoak quarry recently, to which he was invited to mark an agreement between Tarmac and the Northumberland Wildlife Trust to jointly manage the site for wildlife Restoration of the former sand and gravel quarry in the Derwent Valley, Northumberland has resulted in the creation of an area of local importance for wildlife including a network of breeding ponds and hibernacula for great crested newts, other amphibians and reptiles. The quarry has a ...
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Tarmac Biodiversity Benchmark Awards

Tarmac Northumberland and North Yorkshire Quarry Managers were delighted to be the first Tarmac regions to be awarded the coveted Biodiversity Benchmark Award. The Biodiversity Benchmark is an independent verification by The Wildlife Trusts of an organisations work to enhance the biodiversity of the land it owns or manages. All active Tarmac quarry sites in Northumberland and North Yorkshire are contributing to the delivery of UK and Local Biodiversity Action Plan targets, working in close partnership with the Wildlife Trusts, ...
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Whin Grassland

Whin grassland is a habitat type more or less confined to whin outcrops in Northumberland. It contains some of the UK's rarest plant species such as spignel, maiden pink and chives. Working with the Northumberland Wildlife Trust, local botanists and geologists, we have been contributing, on behalf of Tarmac, to research into the current extent of whin grassland and methods of protecting and expanding it's current distribution. Experimental whin plots at Turners Quarry, Barrasford have been established where, in collaboration ...
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Burton Woods Biopark

When Barratt Homes was granted planning permission for housing development on a greenfield site on the fringes of Spennymoor, it was a condition of the planning approval that a Biopark was created to compensate for habitat losses resulting from the scheme. Barratt commenced work in 2008 to transform an area of intensive arable land into a wildlife haven, as part of a wider scheme of wildlife protection and enhancement at Burton Woods. Flower-rich meadow grassland was moved from the housing ...
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Elba Park CSH

Following remediation of the former Lambton coke works near Sunderland, David Wilson Homes was licensed by the Homes and Communities Agency to commence construction of new housing. The scheme incorporated a high standard of environmental construction and is set in a 52ha Country Park. Penn Associates Ecology Ltd undertook the Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH) ecology assessment, advising David Wilson Homes on additional measures they could take to obtain ecology credits ...
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20 Years in the Business

To celebrate our 10th anniversary, Penn Associates became a limited company in May 2011. Coincidentally May 2011 also marks the 20th anniversary of the co-founding of the Robinson Penn Partnership in Newcastle by our Director, Dr Rachel Penn. We look forward to working with our clients and colleagues for many more years to come ...
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