News

 

September 2018

 

Having recently moved to Inverness from Yorkshire, Duncan joined Affric as a Senior Environmental Consultant in September 2018. He has spent the last 5 years working in the Marine Environment in regulation with the Marine Management Organisation as a licensing case officer and within the Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs as a policy advisor in marine licensing and planning.  He has as gained his BSc (Hons) in Countryside Management and is working towards IEMA Practitioner accreditation.

Since starting with Affric, he has authored a Best Practicable Environmental Option Assessment to support a dredge and disposal licence. He has been heavily involved in the Pre-Application Consultation phase of a current project and will be leading on the required EIA for this project. He is working towards his Practitioner accreditation with IEMA, which will broaden his knowledge base and continue his professional development. When he is not working Duncan enjoys exploring the local area, Art, and taking part in outdoor sporting activities including team-based adventure sports.

 

 

March 2018

 

Affric's Lucy meets some young conservationists in Sunnyside school Glasgow

At Affric, we think it’s so important to encourage an interest in the environment with the younger members of our society. We have been inspired by Sunnyside Primary School’s “Nae Straw At Aw!” campaign and the fantastic work the school has been doing with encouraging city councils, Calmac ferry company, and major food manufactures to think about their use of disposable plastics.

As marine pollution is close to our heart, Affric’s Lucy paid the school a visit to see their fantastic work and to talk to them a bit more about why their work is so important. Lucy was lucky enough to meet and speak to P3 Ornithologists, P6 Polar Explorers and P7 Ocean Defenders. Lucy talked to the children about what it’s like to be an ornithologist, what it was like to live on Bird Island, South Georgia studying the birds there, and what threats seabirds currently face. We’d like to say a big thank you to the RSPB for letting us borrow a life-size wandering albatross model to show the kids just how big a bird the wandering albatross really is!

As an added bonus for the older children, Lucy brought along two northern fulmar stomachs, obtained through her voluntary work with the North Sea plastic pollution group, which the children were able to dissect and see what was inside. Horrifyingly, in both stomachs there was evidence of plastic, with part of a balloon, a broken cotton bud tip, and pieces of hard plastic being found.

It was really inspiring and a joy to meet the children and teachers at the school and to hear about their campaign work on marine conservation issues. Sunnyside’s principal teacher, Lisa Perrie’s passion for the environment has clearly been passed on to the children at Sunnyside, and we’d like to say a huge congratulations to the school for all the hard work they have been doing to raise awareness for the problem our oceans are currently facing. Keep up the great work guys – you are the environmentalists of the future! We hope you liked your seabird pin badges we gave you and when you wear them that it reminds you that the work you are doing is helping to save our very own UK seabirds!

You can follow Sunnyside’s campaign work on twitter @SunnysidePri and www.naestrawataw.org to see the fantastic work the school is carrying out.

January 2018

 

Cornelius joined Affric as a Junior (Graduate) Environmental Consultant in January 2018. He originates from Northern Germany and moved to Scotland in 2007 where he graduated with a First-Class Honours in Environmental Science in 2017 from the University of the Highlands and Islands in Inverness.


Since his start with Affric, he has been assisting the senior staff on a variety of projects including: research of baseline conditions and inputting to environmental impact assessment report chapters which has allowed him to broaden his knowledge of project impacts and relevant regulations.
He is taking a key role in updating Affric’s Integrated Management System.  When he is not working Cornelius enjoys a variety of outdoor activities including hillwalking and kayaking. He also volunteers as a Special Constable with Police Scotland.

 

 

 

 

 

December 2017

 

Affric's Dr Lucy Quinn on Bird Island with a wandering albatross chick

Affric’s Lucy is a passionate advocate of marine conservation issues, in particular the issue of marine litter and how it is affecting our ocean’s inhabitants. In her previous work with the British Antarctic Survey, Lucy lived on Bird Island, South Georgia for two and a half years. During her work there as a seabird ecologist, focusing on albatross studies, she was involved in a long-term study of ingestion of plastics by seabirds. Whilst living on Bird Island, BBC’s Blue Planet 2 film crew came to film footage of the albatross, and to interview Lucy on the different reasons for the decline that is now being seen in albatross populations. One of the issues they spoke about was the possible role of marine litter as one of the pressures seabirds face worldwide. This interview will be shown in episode 7 of Blue Planet 2 entitled “Our Blue Planet” and will show the science behind some of the beautiful scenes that have already been witnessed in the series, as well as outlining the problems our marine environment now faces.

This is a worldwide issue, even in our own UK waters there is a huge plastic problem, with items such as food packaging, plastic bottle caps, polystyrene foam, fishing gear, and balloons being just some of the items recorded ingested by seabirds. Lucy’s voluntary work with a research group looking at plastics in seabirds in the North Sea, led by Jan Andries van Franeker in the Netherlands, has shown that 95% of fulmars in the region have plastic in their stomachs.

 

The amount of plastic an average fulmar has in its stomach (left), and the equivalent amount of plastic scaled to what it would be like for a human to have in their stomach (right). 

 

As part of the build up to the Blue Planet 2 episode airing, the issue of seabirds eating plastic has hit the national news, with stories coming out in many national newspapers and with Lucy being interviewed for BBC News and BBC 5 Live radio. We are proud of our Affric team member for promoting this environmental issue and will be tuning in expectantly on Sunday 10th December at 8pm to see the episode on BBC 1.  

Here at Affric we are committed to reducing our own use of single-use plastic items. We encourage all our clients to think about their own individual and company plastic usage.   

This year Affric’s Christmas donation will go towards Jan’s Plastic Waste in the Sea project.  For more details visit: https://www.wur.nl/en/Expertise-Services/Research-Institutes/marine-research/show-marine/Plastic-waste-in-the-Sea.htm.

 

November 2017

 

Affric are delighted to see the Port of Cromarty Firth in the news with regard to oil and gas decommissioning. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-42150503
Affric lead the team supporting them in their application for a Pollution Prevention Control permit to allow them to decommission oil and gas assets.  We wish them all the best with regard to securing work in this field for the Invergordon Service Base. 

 

 

August 2017

 

Lucy has joined Affric as an Environmental consultant and to head up ornithological work for the company. Having over a decade of experience in the ecology sector, she has specialist knowledge within the ornithology, marine and freshwater fields. Over this past decade Lucy has worked in polar, temperate and tropical environments working on a variety of projects and has carried out varied survey techniques within these differing environments, collaborating internationally with different groups and colleagues. She has recently returned from a two-and-a-half-year stint on Bird Island, a sub-Antarctic research station, where she headed the work on albatrosses on the island, and was both science co-ordinator and winter station leader for the base. Lucy has a PhD in marine ecology, specialising in seabirds, and is involved in volunteering with a research group which assesses marine plastic pollution across the North Sea.  In 2014, she worked with Affric for the first time as an associate for marine mammal and seabird work, and was delighted to be given the opportunity to join Affric as a full team member, and especially to work in such a spectacular rural office setting.  Lucy will be working on several projects for the company but will be initially focusing on the environmental impact assessment work for an interconnector project between Scotland and Norway. When she is not working Lucy enjoys hiking, biking, kayaking, birdwatching and being involved in conservation volunteering.

 

May 2017

 

Cassie joined Affric in May as a Senior Environmental Consultant. She is originally from the North West of Australia and moved to Inverness on the 2nd of May.  She is currently contributing to an environmental impact assessment for a local development project.  Cassie has nine years’ experience in the resources sector which has provided her with exposure to the management of environmental risks across the various lifecycle stages including; initial approvals, construction, commissioning, operation, decommissioning, and rehabilitation.  Cassie’s career to date has provided her with the opportunity to undertake a wide variety of tasks from authoring environmental impact assessment management plans, reviewing engineering commitments, managing ISO14001 management systems and obtaining various approvals and licences.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cassie has been the Environmental Advisor on the following projects:

 

  • Chevron’s Barrow Island LNG Project- Chevron Australia’s Gorgon Project is one of the largest LNG projects ever undertaken globally and is the largest single-resource development in Australia's history.  The project was undertaken in an A-class nature reserve and as such required significant environmental management.

 

  • Rio Tinto’s Rail Capacity Enhancement Project - Rio Tinto’s rail network is the largest privately owned and operated rail system in Australia (>1700km). The RCE project was a three-phase project to increase the rails capacity to 353Mtpa.

 

  • Rio Tinto’s Greater Paraburdoo Mine Site -The Greater Paraburdoo Site consists of three open pit iron ore mines with a combined annual production capacity of 20 million tonnes.

 

April 2017

 

Affric Limited are featured on page 72 of this months Executive magazine

http://edition.pagesuite-professional.co.uk/Launch.aspx?PBID=4dfa2caf-6e6c-4d7b-8cef-df4828b96159

 

 

Five projects the Affric team have contributed to in some way are covered in this month's Energy North:

http://edition.pagesuite-professional.co.uk/launch.aspx?eid=f97c38d2-9b33-4b4c-9de3-d5c7352e143b

Have a look at page 10 for Jon's photos taken on the nearshore subsea survey for the NorthConnect project. Well done to the NorthConnect team for all the hard work completed to gain European Funding for the project.

 

 

March 2017

 

Affric are delighted to have just been awarded their 40th Contract. Managing Director, Fiona Henderson said, '40 Projects is a great mile stone for Affric to have reached within our first 5 years of trading. We warmly welcome another new client to our services. Our projects have great diversity both in size and subject, which keeps the team on their toes. This award comes as we are recruiting, our new team member(s) will have plenty to get their teeth into'.

 

December 2016

 

Merry Christmas and All the Best for 2017

Affric would like to wish all our clients and suppliers a Merry Christmas.  We hope you have a great break and a happy and healthy 2017. 
This year Affric have donated to MFR Mission Christmas ensuring that local children can have a great day on Sunday.  Hope you agree it’s better than receiving a Card.

 

September 2016

 

Fiona Henderson completed the RYA Sea Survival course in Wick. 
The course provided by Mackay Underwater Technology (www.mackayunderwatertechnology.com) was a combination of class room and practical training, including the use of lifejackets and life rafts.
Three of the Affric team now hold the qualification, allowing them to safely support clients with marine based activities.

 

May 2016

 

Affric have moved into their new office, Senior Environmental Consultant Jonathan Ashburner said " It's great to finally move in, and enjoy the stunning view over Loch Duntelchaig. The new space provides a fantastic working environment for the team, looking forward to new members joining us"

April 2016

 

All Energy Presentation

Affric’s Managing Director is delighted to be invited to speak at All Energy on the 5th of May 2016 in the Grid 5  Session –  The role of technology and innovation.   The presentation is about the NorthConnect project and is entitled:  Multi-attribute site selection and sympathetic project design - Fourfields Converter Station, Aberdeenshire. 

 

July 2015

 

Affric's Operations Director, Innes Beaton this week attended the Halkirk Under 11's Football Training session where the team were presented with their new Strips.

 

"Affric's Managing Director Fiona Henderson said 'when I saw the club at a tournament earlier in the year they had enough kids for two 7 a side teams but only had kits for one. I decided we had to help. All the kids should feel part of the team.  It's great to see kids outside in all weather taking part, making friends and keeping fit. '

Their young coach James Mackintosh is very dedicated to teaching the kids good ball skills, getting the best out of them and ensuring they have fun.  Affric wanted to do what they could to support him and the team.  Affric have one staff member with a Scotland cap, who knows maybe one of the Halkirk under 11's will go onto get one too."

 

 

 

New Project

 

Affric Limited is delighted to be working with M+W Group and 3T Safety Consultants on the design and safety case Shaft and Silo decommissioning project for Dounreay Site Restoration Limited (DSRL) in Caithness.  For more information on the project please see http://www.mwgroup.net/nc/news-media/news/latest-press-releasesnews/news-article/archive/2015/june/article/m-w-group-appointed-lead-design-and-safety-consultant-for-nuclear-decommissiong-project-in-caithness.html?tx_ttnews%5Bday%5D=10

 

June 2015

 

Affric's Innes Beaton attended a CIEEM course on Otter Survey, Impacts and Mitigation at the Cashel Forest, Loch Lomond, " A Very useful and informative course with a very good outdoor element allowing the practical side to be demonstrated and tried by candidates"

 

When Affric’s Jon Ashburner took the day off for his birthday, a trip to Skye wasn’t part of his plans.  Jon was asked to assist the Scottish Marine Animal Stranding Scheme with the long finned pilot whale mass stranding at Staffin in the north of Skye, so gave up his birthday celebrations to go and help out. Affric’s MD said ‘it’s great to have a team member who is so committed to protecting the marine environment that he gives up not only his free time, but his birthday to help the Stranding Scheme’.

For more detail on the stranding please see: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-32973059  and http://www.strandings.org

 

May 2015

 

Affric would like to welcome Daniel Hepinstall to the team.  He joins us on a short term contract as an Ecological Field Assistant and is taking time out from his PhD at the University of Aberdeen to complete some breeding bird surveys for us. His thesis, entitled ‘Colonisation & Dispersal in Reintroduced Populations of a Social Vertebrate’, focuses on the Black Isle's red kite population and consequently he his very familiar with our operating area.  Affric’s MD Fiona Henderson said, ‘Danny’s volunteering experiences have allowed him to hit the ground running and is delivering the quality of work we expect, it’s great to give new talent experience of the commercial sector’.

 

April 2015

 

On the 23rd April 2015 Jonathan and Fiona were delighted to present at the University of Aberdeen’s B.Sc. in Conservation Biology field course at the Lighthouse field station in Cromarty. The students were introduced to the concepts of environmental consulting and provided with the basic principles of effective environmental mitigation, before being challenged to identify and suggest mitigation for the environmental risks posed by 3 potential marine developments including subsea interconnectors and wind farms.  We concluded by discussing how mitigation is implemented in practice during the construction process, and where the potential pitfalls lay.

 

New Office

 

Affric Limited have started groundworks for their new office.  Despite the snow over the weekend the groundworks are almost complete with water and waste water infrastructure installed.

 

December 2014

Affric Ltd are delighted to have been awarded three new contracts this month,
including two for new clients. Affric Ltd MD Fiona Henderson stated,

‘As for all businesses it is important to have diversity in the client base, so our recent wins are just what we need to continue to grow Affric, 2015 is shaping up to be an exciting year with projects for new and established clients’