Keystone Habitats was asked by Taylor Wimpey Homes to devise a strategy to clear vegetation from the chalk terraces of Chinnor Chalk Pit Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), Oxfordshire to satisfy a request made by Natural England.
What did we do?
- Cleared light scrub and grass vegetation from 5,500m2 of quarry face terraces.
- Removed all arisings and chippings to a designated area.
- Conducted a follow up visit to apply herbicide to re-growth.
How did we do it?
- Negotiated an acceptable strategy with Natural England and the client involving delivery of the work by rope access and the removal of arisings from the terraces by winching.
- Produced a thorough method statement and risk assessment.
- Contacted adjacent landowners to acquire land access consent.
- Our ecologically trained Habitats Contract Manager co-ordinated works to avoid impacts on sensitive habitats and protected species including a Great Crested Newt population.
- Researched an appropriate herbicide which would be acceptable for use adjacent to Great Crested Newt breeding ponds.
- Timed the work to avoid adverse impact to nesting birds and Great Crested Newts.
What were the outcomes?
- Approval of the work carried out was given by the regulator, Natural England.
- The project was delivered safely and in a legally compliant manner in respect of protected species.
- The work was completed on budget and within the required timescale.