Jon Cranfield

Archive for the ‘ecosystems’ Category

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’

#24000reptilemove

In Adders, ecosystems, mitigation, Observations, Wildlife on March 16, 2011 at 11:38 pm

I am going to have to reveal what I know about this reptile translocation scheme. The title is the hash tag I have used highlighting the concerns over this project and what it means for conserving reptiles in the UK.

I will be highlighting the concerns of herpetologists on the RAUK Forum and details of what EARG has managed to find out about the project. First I want to highlight people to the guidance which the consultants are claiming to follow:-

English Nature 2004 – Aims of a reptile mitigation strategy

Planning fordevelopment andmitigationPlanning must incorporate two aims where reptiles are present:

1  To protect reptiles from any harm that might arise during the development work;

2  To ensure that sufficient quality,quantity and connectivity of habitatis provided to accommodate thereptile population, either on-site orat an alternative site, with no net loss of local reptile conservation status.

http://naturalengland.etraderstores.com/naturalenglandshop/UserFiles/Files/IN15.1.pdf

The latest standing advice for planning departments by Natural England – published on the web

http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/regions/east_of_england/ourwork/standingadvice/protectedspecies/reptile.aspx

Living roof & ecosystem services course 10th – 11th Dec

In ecosystems, living roofs, Observations, Wildlife on December 11, 2010 at 11:06 pm

Practical session during day 2 of the living roof & ecosystem services course, Oxford

What do green or living roofs have to do with ponds? I hear you say? well during the course the tutor showed some photos of living roofs which are designed to create temporary pools – this was something I wanted to look into to se whether I could add another pond but on a roof on my property.

It looks like this is possible. Another aspect in ecosystem services included rain gardens such as the ones made in the US. Can all this be applied in the UK?