Keystone Habitats was successful in its tender application to conduct outflow restoration and habitat maintenance on a SSSI in Cheshire on behalf of Natural England.
What did we do?
- Selective vegetation clearance of approximately 1.1ha of trees and scrub.
- Timber extraction of 10m3.Stump treatment to prevent re-growth.
- Ring barking of select mature trees to encourage standing deadwood.Natural outflow regeneration of on-site ditch networks.
- Creation of floodplain areas.Stock fence installation.
How did we do it?
- Selected a Foreman from Keystone Habitats with previous wetland SSSI restoration experience to deliver the project.
- Worked closely with the client and adjacent landowners to coordinate a strategy to minimise impacts to the SSSI and all adjacent land areas.
- Selective felling of trees around the mere by hand and with the aid of specialised machinery (360o excavator fitted with a power-blade attachment to avoid ground damage).
- Brash burning of all arisings on specialised burn stations to prevent ground damage.
- Removal of fire ash to prevent nutrient run off.Sensitive herbicide application to all freshly cut stumps.
- Channel in-filling with woody debris and cohesive substrate to create 4 natural dams totalling 33m in length.
- Mechanical grading of adjacent low lying areas to encourage out of flow wetland areas.
What were the outcomes?
- The brief was delivered on budget under a tight schedule, regardless of inhospitable weather conditions.
- Negligible impact to the SSSI was incurred as a result of our work and the desired restoration/maintenance was achieved.
- The cooperation of landowners was secured and thereafter maintained for the duration of the project.
- A glowing testimonial was received from the Land Management Advisor at Natural England and Cheshire County Council, another stakeholder, also expressed their approval of the work undertaken by Keystone Habitats.