Following on from survey work carried out by the Keystone Ecology, Keystone Habitats was contracted by Carillion to carry out vegetation clearance and install 370m of temporary herptile (amphibian and reptile) proof fencing and newt capture apparatus to permit essential engineering works at Chipping Sodbury Rail Cutting, South Gloucestershire.
What did we do?
- Cut and cleared dense Blackthorn and other scrub to permit the fence installation.
- Installed 370m of newt and reptile proof exclusion fencing in accordance with the site European Protected Species (EPS) licence and to the specification provided in the Great Crested Newt Mitigation Guidelines (2001).
- Installed newt capture apparatus (pit-traps and carpet refugia) along the entire fence alignment.
How did we do it?
- Project planning was employed prior to commencement to ensure the efficient/effective delivery of all tasks.
- Our ecologically trained Habitats Contract Managers conducted nesting bird surveys prior to each section of scrub removal to ensure no nesting birds or fledglings were present.
- Vegetation clearance was conducted using hand tools such as brushcutters and chain saws to minimise ecological impacts.
- All brash was chipped on site.
- A Controller of Site Safety (COSS) was used to protect operatives working trackside where a section of fence had to be dug in by hand.
What were the outcomes?
- The fencing was installed within the licensed timescale to enable newt/reptile trapping to commence on time and thereby avoid programme delays.
- All work was delivered on budget.
- Using appropriately trained staff (Personal Track Safety ticket holders with ecology training) the contract was delivered safely and efficiently without the need for additional ecological supervision.