Provide the client with annual monitoring and management in line with a habitat creation and management plan.
In 2018 we were commissioned by Peel (NRE) to begin undertaking a program of annual monitoring for two parcels of land totalling 29.5ha at their PROTOS energy hub. The land which had been previously farmed had been developed to include a mosaic of different habitats including a network of newly created ditches for water vole, ponds and scrapes for wading birds and wildfowl, and an arable plot for growing a spring sown cereal/ wild bird seed crop to benefit farmland birds all interspersed with areas of wet and dry grassland.
Through consultation with a Habitat Creation & Management Group (HCMG) we devised an annual monitoring plan in accordance with the operational objectives and management options set out in the Habitat Management Plan. We regularly meet with the client to review progress and advise on any necessary habitat improvement work required to ensure the site is meeting the ecological objectives set out in the plan.
We undertake the following surveys to appropriate methodologies on an annual basis:
Breeding and wintering birds (BTO Common Bird Census & EWBS methodology including Brown hare)
Water voles (Environment Agency methodology and Habitat Suitability Index)
Vegetation (Extended Phase 1 and repeatable transect data with full species lists & DAFOR scores)
Marginal vegetation (transects)
Barn owl pellet counts
Annual & post storm tree safety inspections
Using the results from the program of annual monitoring we produce an annual report with recommendations for any changes in management on the site. All members of our operations team are Safe contractor approved (SMAS & CHAS) and, where necessary, can undertake habitat management work on site, or if we haven’t got the means to do the work ourselves we work with a group of approved contractors who carry out work under our supervision.
29.5ha of habitat including ditches, ponds, grassland, hedgerows and arable land managed and monitored in line with a Habitat Management Plan
Liaison with a local grazing and cropping partner in order to graze the site at the right time of year and establish a spring sown cereal/ wild bird seed mix on an annual basis
Update of management plan and monitoring programme in line with agreed set biennial budget