Planning and development: standing advice and guidance documents

Below are links to all of our standing advice and guidance documents, as well as to some key guidance documents published by other organisations.  These can help both developers and planners to deliver the right development in the right place, by minimising impacts on nature and securing the benefits that nature can provide.

To support our written guidance we also run a programme of webinars. Recordings of the webinars can be viewed here.

Environmental Impact Assessment

Onshore wind energy

Siting and design

Siting and designing wind farms in the landscape


General pre-application/scoping advice to developers of onshore wind farms

Survey methods

Recommended bird survey methods to inform impact assessment of onshore wind farms

Bats and onshore wind turbines - survey, assessment and mitigation

Environmental impact assessment

Visual representation of wind farms

Assessing the cumulative landscape and visual impact of onshore wind energy developments

Assessing the cumulative impacts of onshore wind farms on birds

Assessing the significance of impacts on bird populations from onshore wind farms that do not affect protected areas

Carbon-calculator for wind farms on Scottish peatlands: factsheet (Scottish Government)

Assessing the impact of small-scale wind energy proposals on the natural heritage

Dealing with proposals for the variation of section 36 wind farm consents

Collision risk assessment

Wind farm impacts on birds - calculating a theoretical collision risk assuming no avoiding action

Wind farm impacts on birds - calculating the probability of collision

Wind farm impacts on birds - use of avoidance rates in the NatureScot wind farm collision risk model

Wind farm impacts on birds - flight speeds and biometrics for collision risk modelling

A review of red-throated diver and great skua avoidance rates at onshore wind farms in Scotland

Assessing impacts to pink-footed and greylag geese from small-scale wind farms in Scotland

Mitigation measures

Assessment and mitigation of impacts of power lines and guyed meteorological masts on birds

Wind farm proposals on afforested sites - advice on reducing suitability for hen harrier, merlin and short-eared owl


Good practice during wind farm construction


Monitoring the impact of onshore wind farms on birds

Methods for monitoring bird populations at onshore wind farms


Decommissioning and Restoration Plans for wind farms

Offshore wind energy

Survey and monitoring

Survey and monitoring in relation to marine renewables deployments in Scotland

Towards the standardised seabirds at sea census techniques in connection with environmental impact assessments for offshore wind farms in the UK (Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research)

Recommendations for presentation and content of interim marine bird, mammal and basking shark survey reports for marine renewable energy developments

MRSeaPower: Methodological development and implementation of MRSeaPower (Centre for Research into Ecological and Environmental Modelling)

Using the MRSea Package: Statistical modelling of bird and cetacean distributions in offshore renewables development areasMRSeaPower: Methodological development and implementation of MRSeaPower (Centre for Research into Ecological and Environmental Modelling)

Environmental impact assessment

Offshore renewables – guidance on assessing the impact on coastal landscape and seascape: guidance for scoping and Environmental Statement

Coastal character assessment: Orkney and North Caithness

Review of seabird demographic rates and density dependence (JNCC)

Joint Statutory Nature Conservation Bodies Interim Displacement Advice Note (JNCC, NRW, NE, NIEA, DAERA, NatureScot)

Interim guidance on apportioning impacts from marine renewable developments to breeding seabird populations in Special Protection Areas

Explanatory notes for table of seasonal periods for birds in the Scottish marine environment

Non-breeding season populations of seabirds in UK waters: Population sizes for Biologically Defined Minimum Population Scales (Natural England)

Collision risk assessment

Using a collision risk model to assess bird collisions for offshore wind farms (Band 2012)

Joint Response from the Statutory Nature Conservation Bodies to the Marine Scotland Science Avoidance Rate Review (JNCC, NRW, NE, NIEA, NatureScot)

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