Wytch Farm

Wytch Farm
Client: Perenco (UK) Ltd / BP
Location: Dorset

In my former role, I acted as Environmental Project Manager during the planning stages of a range of schemes at the Wytch Farm, Wareham and Kimmeridge oilfields near Wareham, Dorset.

The oilfields are located within a highly sensitive area. The area includes the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Purbeck Heritage Coast, Special Areas of Conservation, Special Protection Areas, Ramsar sites and Sites of Special Scientific Interest. The schemes have required detailed environmental assessments, involving both Environmental Impact Assessment and Habitat Regulations Assessment. Close liaison was required between the client and environmental experts, including landscape architects, ecologists, air quality and noise specialists.

Schemes worked on included pipeline and cable projects, a new power generation plant and a hydrocarbon vent reduction project at the Kimmeridge wellsite.

I coordinated a complex ES to accompany 39 planning applications to extend the operational life of the Wytch Farm, Wareham and Kimmeridge Oilfields from 2016 through to 2037. This led to the creation of the Wytch Farm Landscape and Access Enhancement Fund. The fund was established to enhance the landscape around Wytch Farm oilfield and is supported by the Dorset AONB, Dorset Council, Natural England and Perenco UK.

Landowners, conservation and community groups or individuals can apply for funding for projects which meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Strengthen the character of the surrounding landscape by the creation, conservation, enhancement and management of heathland and acid grassland;
  • Enhance biodiversity by the conservation, enhancement and management of boundary features (such as hedgerows, veteran trees and earthbanks), woodlands (such as rhododendron control) and rural lanes; and / or
  • Improve rights of way and / or facilities to provide car-free access and conserve tranquillity.

Since the 1980s, Wytch Farm has received many environmental awards due to the way the oilfields integrate with the surrounding environment. These include:

  • World Environmental Centre Gold Medal;
  • European Better Environment Award for Industry;
  • Queen’s Award for Environmental Achievement.