Groundwater Dependent Terrestrial Ecosystems (GWDTE)

Groundwater Dependent Terrestrial Ecosystems (GWDTE) are wetlands which critically depend on groundwater flows or chemistries. They are safeguarded by the Water Framework Directive (WFD) and are sensitive to hydrological and ecological changes caused by developments. The ‘Water Environment (controlled Activities) (Scotland) Regulations 2011’ (CAR) requires a licence for certain activities (e.g. groundwater abstraction and in-channel works) and is regulated by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA).

Phase 1 Habitat Survey and National Vegetation Classification (NVC) are carried out to identify potential wetlands in the vicinity of developments. A hydro-geomorphic assessment is then conducted to assess the dependency of wetlands on groundwater and to allow an assessment of potential impacts and mitigation. Our ecologists and hydrologists work closely together to survey and assess GWDTEs and we have a proven track record in challenging environments.

Timing: April to September (optimal); other times possible (sub-optimal)