HVDC Western Link Marine Cable Route

About This Project

Offshore projects involve not just our maritime teams but also our in-house geophysical and environmental teams. The breadth of knowledge across the teams ensures best practice is followed in all areas of the project.

Project Summary

Headland prepared the assessment report and wrote the EIA for the Western Link HVDC marine cable project, which runs from Ardneil Bay, in North Ayrshire, Scotland to Leasowe on the Wirral peninsula, a distance of 369km. The route runs through the territorial waters of Scotland, Northern Ireland, Isle of Man, Wales and England, as well as through UK international waters.

Project Details

The assessment included baseline survey, geophysical and geotechnical survey analysis, written schemes of investigation, protocols for archaeological discoveries and the environmental statement for marine archaeology. As part of the baseline survey, 3,000km of geophysical data was reviewed, including side-scan sonar, sub-bottom profiling, magnetometry and multi-beam bathymetry. These different data sets were analysed and combined to provide information on any archaeological remains which might be present on the ocean floor.

During the assessment of the geophysical data, we focused on an unidentified wreck site lying at the northern end of the North Channel between Scotland and Northern Ireland at a water depth of approximately 100m. The UKHO database records a ‘small wreck’ in this location of unknown origin, as there were no documented losses in the area. Our analyses of the bathymetric and side-scan sonar images clearly show the wreck to be a probable German Type II U-boat.

On the North Wirral peninsula, the landfall for the Western Link, we also encountered a submerged forest and peat deposits at several locations within the intertidal zone which are considered to be of national importance. An investigation strategy for palaeoenvironmental remains was developed by Headland’s Maritime and Environmental Teams.


Intertek Metoc/Searoc Ltd/Prysmian

Contract Value



Offshore - Cable


Location: Midlands & West, Location: Scotland, Location: South & East, Sector: Offshore, Service: EIA, Service: Palaeoenvironmental Analysis