Jon Cranfield

Out of destruction comes new life & habitats…..

In ecosystems, mitigation, Observations, Wildlife on August 11, 2011 at 2:23 pm

The power lines across the Nevendon Road site are supported by wooden telegraph poles. The local woodpecker population seem to be keen on these upright dead trees despite being treated the woodpeckers put massive holes into the sides of these poles. A local contractor had access recently to replace the poles in the middle of the washland area. I asked him what machinery he was going to be using – fearing that as an ecologist I was about to place restrictions on his normal day to day works he said that ‘they would be using a 4×4 vehicle, a cherry picker and a tracked 360 digger’. ‘No problem’ I said ‘just one thing, if you make a mess (i.e. rutts and tracks) do you normally tidy this up?’

He stated that ‘oh yes we would want to make sure everything is tidy when we leave’. I wanted to make sure that I got some compensatory habitat as a result of the works – so I asked ‘Can you leave the wheel ruts and the track markss please?’ To his amazement We don’t normally get asked to do that, normally we are told off for leaving wheel ruts and tracks on private land. I explained that I wanted to create small ponds and linear ditch features on the wash land. The easiest way to do this is by machine digging holes in the ground or in this case the wheels and tracks left behind the work on the telegraph poles.

creating shallow water bodies by machinerylinear water body creation

The mess left over was a little concerning. I was over the site with our botanist and I showed him the wheel or track ruts. He basically said ‘they got a bit stuck then?’ and finished off with ‘that would help with maximising the biodiversity of the site’

  1. I was taught as an undergrad that “life is always pushing up against the edges”, if there is an opportunity, some organism will take advantage of it…

  2. Neat stuff Jon. Perfect for natterjack and Triops tadpole shrimps – what are the chances of them colonising!? lol.

    Seriously though Scarce emeralds could be on the cards (dont you have them already there?) along with some rather cool stuff 🙂

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