RammSanderson can assist with aquatic permit applications and specialist assessments before works are carried out, including a WFD Assessment. This may include specific species licenses depending on results from protected species surveys, targeted permits/consents relating to a specific activity, or large-scale assessments of the impact proposed activities will have on watercourses. 

To ensure our watercourses are not exploited or impacted without due mitigation, various laws and permit requirements often need to be met before works are carried out. 

Furthermore, large-scale aquatic projects may be required to consolidate multiple surveys into one assessment for submission to the relevant organisation, which may include WFD Assessment. 

Water Framework Directive (WFD) Assessments 

The Water Framework Directive is a European Law (that aims to protect our rivers, lakes, groundwater, and bathing waters). It focuses on reducing and removing pollution from waterbodies, to support wildlife at the same time as human needs. 

The WFD Assessment works in hydrological “basins” rather than political/administrative boundaries, allowing cooperative management. In the UK, this allows basins that straddle multiple authorities to be governed together. 

The WFD Assessment uses detailed methodology, such as field work, lab analysis, and chemical monitoring across a range of indices to generate specific parameters used to classify physical, ecological, and chemical elements. 

This can be used to classify waterbodies and watercourses into different categories based on factors like fish, invertebrates, ammonia, macrophytes, and pH. Each category is assigned a rating of Bad, Poor, Moderate, Good, or High for ecological and physicochemical quality elements, as well as a pass or fail for specific chemicals present in the waterbody, such as mercury or dioxins.

A WFD Assessment enables rivers to be classified across ecological and physical parameters, with clear monitoring and scoring of these systems. Progress with WFD has been slow, missing the original target of having all waterbodies scoring “good” for ecological conditions before 2015. As of 2019, out of 4651 waterbodies, only 758 scored as good or above, roughly 16.29%.

Water Framework Directive

Expert WFD Assessment Specialists 

We can perform desk-based a WFD assessment using the environment agency catchment data explorer, to research these indices as well as understand the pressures associated with the waterbody. 

Our expert team at RammSanderson is able to generate this information via industry-recognised surveys and lab analysis, which is often used when categorising specific sections rather than large sections of watercourses as detailed in the catchment data explorer. 

RammSanderson has worked closely with the Environment Agency to create water framework assessments specifically tailored for the removal of an outfall to investigate the overall impact on the watercourse. 

This involves a range of survey techniques, using biological and chemical indicators to investigate the current health of the river. In this case, this methodology excels at comparing affected reaches with up and downstream reaches, as well as comparative waterbodies in the wider area. 

A WFD Assessment may be required when commissioning/decommissioning outfalls, to assess large-scale changes to river systems, or to classify a group of rivers within a study area amongst other things.

A pond

Flood Risk Activity Permit (FRAP) 

A Flood Risk Activity Permit is an environmental permit that’s often needed for activities in close proximity to a watercourse. 

If the work is within 8m of the bank of an Environment Agency Main River (16m tidal main river) it will likely need a Flood Risk Activity Permit. 

This is required to assess the impacts of work and to ensure the development leaves no negative lasting impacts on the watercourse. 

A full list of activities that might require a Flood Risk Activity Permit is available from the Environment Agency online, as well as legal obligations and permit requirements. 

RammSanderson is experienced in preparing Flood Risk Activity Permit applications, which are often informed by other services such as detailed ecological surveys, and flood risk assessment. 

Flood risk and drainage

Ordinary Watercourse Consent 

If the works will affect the flow or cross-sectional area of an ordinary watercourse, you will likely need an ordinary watercourse consent from the Local Authority to enable to works to proceed. 

RammSanderson can complete these forms for your development, which will include the gathering of evidence including ecological information, flood risk assessment, and construction method statement. 

An accepted permit will enable development to take place legitimately.

Ordinary Watercourse Consent

Why Choose RammSanderson for Specialist Assessments and Permitting?

At RammSanderson our expert team offers efficient and cost-effective water management and environmental permits such as a WFD assessment and Flood Risk Assessment Permit applications, ensuring regulatory and protected species compliance.

Whatever the requirements, RammSanderson endeavours to consistently deliver a premium service with expertly trained operatives and ecologists who understand the needs and sensitivity of ecology assessments and site management.

RammSanderson has a team of experienced consultants ready to carry out Flood Risk Activity Permit applications and WFD Assessment Services. Get in touch today!