Client: Crest Nicholson plc
Service: Habitat Creation
The proposal included installation of over 3,000m of newt fencing and the creation of two newt ponds and wildlife area to use for translocation of the amphibians.
Great Crested Newt mitigation in Holmer, Hereford
Surveys carried out by the client showed a pond supporting Great Crested Newts close to the site of their 350 home development at Holmer, north of Hereford. The mitigation proposal called for the phased installation of over 3,000m of newt exclusion fencing and pitfall traps and the creation of two newt ponds and wildlife area to use for translocation of the amphibians.
The project has involved the habitat management of an ecological zone within the development which is an area required to be left alone, partly because it floods and also due to its importance for wildlife.
JPR Environmental initially installed 800m of newt exclusion fencing around phase 1 of the scheme in April 2010. A requirement then arose for a similar distance of tree protection fencing in the form of Heras panels and 5 foot high chestnut pale. We installed this in June 2010 to ensure the trees and hedgerows were protected to allow the ground workers to get onto site.
In October 2010 we were commissioned to create 2 new ponds to be used as receptors for amphibians trapped from Phase 2 of the development. These were lined with Bentonite and planted with native aquatic and marginal plants. The pond area was fenced to enclose newts and again with chestnut pale to prevent possible damage to the area during construction.
In April 2011 JPR installed a further 2,500m of exclusion fencing to enable trapping off the area for Phase 2 development. We also managed the destructive search once the 8 hectare area had been cleared of amphibians. A further 2700m of tree protection fencing was installed around the boundary and hedgerows creating inner divisions of the proposed construction area in May 2011. The vast majority of the mature hedgerows are being retained within the development. Maintenance is ongoing for the next 3 years to ensure that the existing and new newt ponds are suitable habitats for great crested newts.
All the work was won through competitive tender and was undertaken to strict deadlines to ensure that construction was not delayed. Natural England undertook an inspection of the Phase 2 exclusion fencing and pitfall trap works and said they were to be highly commended. The project has involved a whole range of site preparation and ecological mitigation works from tree protection fencing to habitat creation.