New Earth Solutions
Keystone Ecology were asked to address ecology issues in support of a planning application for a waste composting facility in south west Bristol. The 2.5 ha facility was to be located in a clearing within a woodland managed for forestry that fell within the 5km protection zone of the North Somerset and Mendip Bats Special Area of Conservation (SAC).
A Phase I Habitat survey was initially undertaken to identify the requirement for and scope of Phase II surveys. Natural England were consulted to agree the extent of Greater Horseshoe bat surveys necessary to fully assess impacts of the proposed development on the SAC. Phase II surveys were subsequently carried out for Badger, Reptiles and bats.
Using the results of all baseline surveys and with the input of Natural England, a mitigation strategy was developed to offset impacts to each ecological constraint. This centered on the production of an ecological management plan for retained on-site habitat and 5.7ha of off-site compensatory habitat to create new, high quality foraging habitat for Greater Horseshoe bats, a reptile receptor site and enhance habitat for Dormice.