The year started with the launch of one of our largest native woodland planting projects this year. As part of the Gatwick Airport Flood Alleviation Scheme, Ecosulis’ HCEC Team were asked to conduct a five-year habitat creation and maintenance program for the Environment Agency in Crawley. Our task for the first phase of works in 2016, was to plant over 4,500 trees and shrubs to create a new woodland habitat that would be beneficial to the Dormice that have been found in adjacent woodland around the site.
In March this year I was lucky enough to be enrolled on a Tree Climbing and Aerial Rescue course at Bridgwater College, Cannington. Running up to the course I was fortunate to have the support of a colleague Ben, from our ecological consultancy team, who already had his Tree Climbing qualification and is an experienced climber. He gave me a great deal of insight prior to the course, however, nothing could prepare me for the physical work that was involved!
Priory Farm is located within the rural landscape of the Wansdyke District and consists of four conjoined barns, which were due for renovation. During the ecological surveys in 2010, three of the four barns had evidence of brown long-eared and common pipistrelle bats, whilst a single lesser horseshoe bat was also recorded within one of the barns.
New water vole guidelines are set to be released towards the end of this year. There are likely to be some significant changes to the way water vole surveys need to be undertaken, and how water vole mitigation strategies can be implemented. Some of the key changes are detailed below:
Dormice are very rarely seen and one of our Assistant Ecological Consultants, Marc Anderton, was lucky enough to get up close and personal with a few recently, whilst on a Dormouse course in Somerset.
Each year public and private sector projects throughout the UK plant trees as part of landscape plans. However much of this planting fails and many trees die before they reach maturity. As much as 25% of planting fails within the public sector according to a 2008 report commissioned by the Department of Communities and Local Government. A similar failure rate is believed to exist in the private sector.
Ecosulis recently donated 500 dormouse tubes to the Somerset Wildlife Trust, which were previously used on one of our large infrastructure projects. The tubes will be used within dormouse monitoring schemes and other initiatives by the trust. Monitoring works are undertaken to provide an indication of population size and the health of dormouse populations in Somerset and the south west.
July sees the completion of Contract 4 at Wichelstowe. Contract 4 included the construction of roads and associated structures between East Wichel and Mill Lane (including a section of the Croft Road to Hay Land Link Road, the Central Distributor Road and the bus and cycle STAr route), a 1km stretch of canal, amenity lakes and attenuation ponds, two wildlife ponds and a
By Gordon Richardson, Exeter Express & Echo, 18th October 2010