Keystone Habitats was instructed to conduct a phased hedgerow removal programme under a European Protected Species (EPS) licence for Dormice obtained for the expansion of Hammer Warren Quarry, Hampshire.
What did we do?
- Cleared approximately 1,020m of hedgerow.
How did we do it?
- A Habitats Contract Manager with Dormouse handling experience was assigned the project and listed as an accredited agent under the Dormouse EPS licence.
- A pre-commencement meeting was held between Keystone Habitats and Keystone Ecology, the named ecologist on the licence, to discuss the required working methods and timing of works.
- The hedgerows were cut down to a height of 150mm over the winter months with inspections taking place by the Habitats Contracts Manager prior to works to ensure there were no resident Dormice in the vegetation.
- To minimise the risk of killing or injuring Dormice, hedgerow clearance was carried out using hand operated chainsaws, with all arisings being chipped into adjacent fields.
- Removal of remaining vegetation, including the root balls was undertaken in May, outside the Dormouse hibernation period.
- Inspections for Dormouse were again undertaken by the Habitats Contract Manager accredited under the EPS licence.
- Nesting bird checks were also carried out.
What were the outcomes?
- Additional ecological supervision and associated costs, which would have been required if a non-ecological specialist contractor had been employed, were avoided.
- Compliance with the EPS licence was achieved thereby eliminating the client’s legal risk.
- The work was completed on time and budget.