The Beatrice oilfield is the first nearshore development in United Kingdom waters. Situated in an area of major ecological and nature-conservation importance, the development of Beatrice has demanded thorough attention to environmental planning and monitoring through all stages. Assessment of the environmental implications of the development was a major concern from the earliest stages of project planning. A range of baseline studies was performed to provide a basis for future monitoring. During the planning phase, as later in the field's development, consultation and communication with the statutory bodies and local community was a priority. The environmental assessment and its component studies were discussed with all concerned. As well as providing the detailed scientific data, the work was also presented in summary form to the local communities. The local community as well as the authorities needed to be reassured that the environment would be protected. Monitoring of the marine environment of the Moray Firth is a continuing activity involving a wide range of studies by specialist teams in four main areas: (1) ornithological studies; (2) intertidal monitoring; (3) sublittoral studies; (4) others, including structural fouling by marine growth. The long-term monitoring programme is built on extensive baseline data gathered before oil was produced at Beatrice. The scope of this work will be outlined in this paper and examples given of some of the results. In addition to the monitoring aspects, the data is often of considerable academic interest, and Britoil encourages publication of scientific papers arising from the programme. The overall conclusions are that only very localized environmental impact has been caused beneath and in the immediate vicinity of the drilling platforms and that development and operation of the Beatrice field has not damaged the marine environment and resources of the Moray Firth.