Ecosulis
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Case Studies

Featured Case Studies

Project Name:
Attenborough Lakes SSSI, Habitat Creation
Client:
Environment Agency
Year:
Dec 01, 2014
Keywords:
Reedbed planting, goose fencing, bird monitoring, habitat management, NVC surveys, SSSI
Summary:
As part of Flood Alleviation works, reedbed areas were created within Attenborough Nature Reserve SSSI and Ecosulis were appointed to undertake the planting and ...

As part of Flood Alleviation works, reedbed areas were created within Attenborough Nature Reserve SSSI and Ecosulis were appointed to undertake the planting and maintenance of these reedbeds. Over 250,000 marginal plants of eight species were planting in 2012 and protected from grazing with wildfowl exclusion fencing. The planting was undertaken by our local team and took several months. All plants were inspected in the nursery before delivery to ensure good quality of stock. 

Planting up reedbeds

These reedbeds are prone to wildfowl grazing and additional measures were undertaken to reduce grazing and ensure the welfare of wildfowl within the reedbed areas. A team from Ecosulis monitored these reedbeds by boat three times a week and are professionally trained in bird rescue. We work closely with the Reserve staff and local sailing club to coordinate our activities on site and we have a permanent site presence.

The reedbed establishment has met some challenges from coot grazing to unseasonal, very high and prolonged water levels and wave wash. Sheltered areas have established well and North Coneries reedbed has met the Environment Agencies ‘Establishment’ criteria in two years.  Other areas have shown partial establishment so far and continue to improve. Ecosulis are working with the Environment Agency to provide design solutions for exposed, wave washed reedbed establishment.  

Planting at North Coneries with goose exclusion fencing (left) and established reedswamp after two years (right)

We were also appointed to undertake habitat creation and maintenance of other sites within the Reserve and nearby sites as part of the same scheme: Cemex Quarry, Toton Sewage Treatment Works, Beeston Pond, Wheatear Fields, Attenborough Periphery Route, South Coneries and Erewash.

Cemex woodland planting continues to thrive

We have planted wet woodland and managed these and other previously planted areas to ensure the trees and shrubs thrive and meadow grassland establishes. These are all river floodplain habitats with a year round detailed programme of works.  

Due to the ecological sensitivity of the site, all operations are overseen by an Ecological Clerk of Works and habitats are surveyed for nesting birds prior to and during works. A weekly report is produced to record any wildfowl constraints.

Ecosulis continues to undertake regular inspections to assess the effectiveness of the maintenance works and detailed National Vegetation Classification Surveys have been undertaken of certain sites, such as Wheatear Fields, to inform the EA of progress against their assessment criteria.

Wheater fields area managed for ground nesting birds

 

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