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Posted by: Hannah Maben on 10/02/2011



Welcome to Wichelstowe Wildlife News where you will find all the latest information in respect to the habitats and species within the Wichelstowe urban extension to the south of Swindon. 

This issue includes an outline of recent winter works undertaken in 2010/2011.  For a brief introduction to Wichelstowe and other ecological works undertaken to date, please refer to earlier issues of Wichelstowe Wildlife News.

Winter works 2010/2011

Over the winter there is little ecological survey work required at Wichelstowe; however, it provides an ideal opportunity for some habitat creation and management and Ecosulis still has a weekly presence on site.  Works that have been undertaken in respect to wildlife at Wichelstowe this winter include:

Fence checks – Weekly fence checks are undertaken within areas of active construction to ensure that the temporary newt fencing (installed under a European Protected Species licence in respect to great crested newts) remains in place and to undertake maintenance where required

Installation of permanent wildlife fencing – permanent amphibian fencing and badger fencing is currently being installed along sections of the new road, which connects Mill Lane to the new development at East Wichel.  Fencing is also being installed alongside the new road connecting Redpost Drive and Mill Lane to address issues in respect to common toad

Wildlife Tunnel – Wildlife tunnels are being installed and maintained to ensure that they are unobstructed prior to the opening of any new roads

Pond enhancement works – careful removal of aquatic and marginal flora such as bulrush, which will enhance the condition of the ponds for forthcoming great crested newt breeding season

Pond creation – two wildlife ponds are being created in the centre of the site, which have been designed specifically to provide new opportunities for newts and other wildlife

Hedgerow management – Selected sections of hedgerow across the site have been cut over the winter to avoid the breeding bird season, whilst taking care not to disturb potentially hibernating amphibians

Planting – Tree and scrub planting has been completed at areas of East Wichel, including within the Management Plan Area

Plans for Spring 2011

Spring will bring with it the optimal time for undertaking various wildlife surveys, including great crested newt surveys, which have been undertaken annually at Wichelstowe for around ten years.  Annual habitat assessment and water vole surveys will also be undertaken in spring 2011 alongside checks for invasive species such as Indian balsam (also referred to as Himalayan balsam) to monitor success of mitigation and to inform management and need for further surveys.

Useful links

Other Wichelstowe Wildlife News 

Categories: Habitat Creation
Tags: Conservation | Ecology | Nature | Wichelstowe
1 comments » Comments
Tanzeel 15/02/2011 great!
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