Habitat Creation

Posted by Emma Northcote-Smith on 21/06/2016

In 2016 The Mammal Society Mitigation Guidance Series published the new Water Vole Mitigation Handbook. This publication aims to promote best practice in the surveying and mitigation of water voles by ecological consultants, and to guide and inform decision makers that suitable survey information is provided and suitable mitigation measures proposed (Dean et al., 2016).

The new mitigation guidelines include some key changes to:

·         Licensing in relation to the ‘displacement’ of water voles

Posted by James Edwards on 6/05/2016

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.

Over the last 25 years Ecosulis has developed a tried and tested method for establishing reedbeds in a variety of situations. Our experts know that each site has its unique set of challenges and these need to be considered systematically in order to ensure that you can establish a successful reedbed. Where we have been commissioned by clients to repair or restore failed reedbeds, we have identified factors that are often not considered by those installing them. This article outlines some of those key issues and provides solutions to them. 
 
 

A study has been compiled for the Biodiversity 2020 Terrestrial Biodiversity Group (TBG) which focused on 159 National Character Areas and the potential to add or restore habitats within these sites. As well as looking at how to achieve this, they assessed prescriptions to ensure that habitats could be restored without environmental conflicts of interest (for example saltmarsh creation on the same space as floodland grazing).

 

Recently Defra has published the “Natural Environment White Paper Implementation Update” (or NEWP). This looks at the progress that has been made since the last White Paper that was produced in December 2012 and the steps that the government has made to improve natural environments.

The paper notes a number of improvements including-

There has been a lot of interest on the news recently about the importance of bees and other pollinators. In simple terms, bees are important due to their ability to distribute pollen that allows plants to flourish and for crops to grow, contributing to food security.  In addition, bees also contribute towards biodiversity and the health of our environment.

Fig 1: Short haired bee

Some people may wonder what the benefit is in evaluating soil biodiversity and wonder why money ought to be spent on further research. While you may be aware of the importance of bees or wildflowers in preserving the environment it is easy to forget that organisms in soil play a critical role in the biological processes that create and sustain life and are at least as important. The presence or absence of soil organisms can indicate the health of the environment.

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