Code of Practice
affecting decision-making including conservation + enhancement
integration of landscape and biological diversity is required in the development
of transport policies and infrastructure. Its inclusion is fundamental to the
development of a more sustainable transport network across the European region.
Already tested procedures are available to assist with sound decisions making
but these need wider application.
- For all
infrastructure developments governments and/or their agencies must apply
strategic environmental assessment (SEA) and the more detailed environmental
impact assessment (EIA). This should enable informed, sound decision making on
the selection of modal choice, route corridors and subsequent fuller assessment
of the effects of proposed schemes together with alternatives.
institutions/donors must require an EIA of transport projects that they propose
to sponsor and consider SEA carried out, previously.
(conservation + enhancement) of landscapes, habitats and species
- Transport routes
should seek to avoid legally protected areas and species including under the
European Union’s Habitats Directive, and Birds Directive, and those protected
by international agreements including the Convention on Biological Diversity,
the Berne, Ramsar and World Heritage Conventions.
- Throughout the
planning, design and implementation of transport schemes there is a need to
promote an awareness and implement legislation relating to protected landscapes,
habitats and species.
- Consideration of
the wider countryside should include developing opportunities for enhancement of
landscapes and habitats, and the establishment of links with the Pan
requires specialist knowledge and understanding. It emphasises the need for
dialogue between members of the engineering and environmental teams; and the
need for public participation within the process including with those living
locally. There is a particular need to understand and accommodate the dynamic
nature of both landscape and biological diversity.
- Document and
communicate base data locating valued and/or sensitive landscapes, habitats and
species including data from national and local voluntary sources. Encourage the
establishment of databases for biological records.
landscape and ecological processes including the spatial and temporal aspects of
landscape, habitat and species.
- Progress the level
of data in relation to the stage of scheme design, but when collecting data
remember to accommodate seasonal constraints.
- Understand the
interactions with other aspects such as the engineering requirements and
- Consult and inform
those affected and interested in the scheme as soon as possible and throughout
- Develop a mutual
understanding between the client, engineer and environmental specialists
including using techniques such as training and workshops.
development + management
In the development
of transport schemes a multidisciplinary approach is required at all stages with
a need to incorporate an interactive approach to both the design and subsequent
management. Environmental management and risk assessment procedures assist in
informing those involved with constructing and managing schemes as well as those
living in the locality. Project development and management subdivide into the
stages of planning, design, implementation, and site management.
- Adopt an approach,
which seeks to avoid, mitigate and compensate. In the first instance consider
the less harmful options.
- Include an early
consideration of landscape and biological diversity within the planning
- Focus on
significant landscapes/habitats species, for example resolving the effects on
threatened species; but do not overlook commonly occurring features of the wider
schemes in transboundary locations
- Relate scheme
design and management to the character of the landscape/ scenery and biological
diversity in the area
- Adopt a flexible
approach to engineering design standards/criteria to accommodate the character
and value of the landscape/habitat/species in the area. Consider the
appropriateness of standard solutions in the local context.
- Be reactive to
opportunities for enhancement/maximising benefits, and minimising disbenefits
including fitting the scheme into the wider landscape and relating it to the
- Pay attention to
detailed design with respect to the visual and ecological aspects including the
use of fauna-friendly designs.
procedures to enable the acquisition of appropriate land for environmental
- Apply best
available technology, including surface materials, feasibility of recycling and
recycling of materials/surplus spoil.
- Assess the
environmental effects of siting construction camps, storage areas and future
associated developments, e.g. service station/marinas, maintenance depot.
- Retain specialists
to monitor environmental compliance on site, including during the construction
- Inform and involve
local organisations/people in these stages.
Site management + maintenance
natural life cycles into maintenance plans, for example the long term
development of vegetation.
- Understand and
incorporate maintenance requirements and relate to local practices,.
- Establish and
review management practices with respect to opportunities for landscape and
functioning/performance of environmental measures, for example passages for
wildlife, water quality, and adjust as necessary.
review and research
To ensure that
effective solutions are being applied, monitoring and research is required. The
findings of tested and tried methods should be disseminated to a wide audience
and include an exchange of ideas.
- Co-ordinate and
encourage a pan-European-wide exchange of Design Manuals and Method Statements.
Relate these to landscape and habitat types, and encompass languages.
- Encourage an
exchange of approach between those involved with the design of roads, railways
- Monitor and
evaluate the effectiveness of environmental measures and disseminate information
relating to new or improved techniques.
- Encourage the
application of scientific research to the development of practical procedures
- Promote further
research into the special ecological and landscape implications associated with
railways and waterways.
biological and landscape diversity of Europe – the variety of flora, fauna,
ecosystems and landscapes – is one of our greatest riches. The importance of
European nature extends far beyond the boundaries of the continent – it is a
vital element in the global ecosystem.
recent years, European biological and landscape diversity has been in decline:
important natural habitats and man-made landscapes have been lost, plant and
animal species are under threat. Stopping and reversing this decline is the
shared responsibility of the people and nations of Europe. We must pass on our
natural heritage – in all its diversity – to future generations as a
of the Pan-European Biological and Landscape Diversity Strategy, Council of
objectives of the Code
The Code of Practice
has been produced as part of the Pan-European Biological and Landscape Strategy
(Council of Europe 1996). It aims to assist elected representatives, decision
makers, and practitioners as well as nature conservation bodies in the
understanding of the main issues and solutions associated with the planning,
design and use of linear transportation networks i.e. roads, railways and
inland navigation channels, in relation to the landscape and biological
The Code addresses
concerns over a number of planned transport routes in Europe, which threaten
protected areas and species. The effects of existing poorly planned and designed
transport routes are only too apparent including;
- scars on the
landscape visible over a wide area;
- dramatic change of
landscape character particularly on account of differences of scale resulting
from built structures;
- fragmentation of
the landscape/ habitats;
- reduction in
- direct loss of
protected and therefore valued habitats and species;
- indirect and
cumulative/more subtle detrimental effects on landscapes/habitats and species
with implications relating to the environment as well as the vehicle/ user
Such effects can
reduce the value of the natural environmental capital or features of an area and
add to the problems of conserving and enhancing already threatened protected
areas and species. These detrimental effects can be more exaggerated by lack of
coordination in trans boundary locations. Improved planning and knowledge can
provide solutions by adopting an approach, which seeks to avoid, mitigate, and
for negative effects. Also, improved planning and
maintenance along existing and new routes can realise the value of the soft
estate areas usually with some form of vegetation within transport corridors but
which transport users do not travel along provide the catalyst to enhance
degraded landscapes and habitats.
Structure of the
By way of background
the rest of this section provides details on the Pan-European Biological and
Landscape Strategy and the extent of the transport network across its region.
Related transport and sustainable development policies, and other initiatives
are described in Section 2. Section 3 considers a number of common principles
applicable to roads, railways and waterways including critical legislation and
requirements for knowledge. A comparison of common effects is given in Section
By way of
illustration Section 5 examines problems and opportunities arising from the
design, construction and use of roads, railways and waterways. Section 6
considers monitoring the need for exchanges of experience and research
requirements. Conclusions are presented in the final section. Code of Practice
Pointers have been inserted at the beginning of each sub section and are printed
in italics.. Summaries of supporting technical papers are given in the Appendix
and the full versions of the papers are presented in a separate volume.