Keystone Habitats have recently been working closely with Wales and West Utilities (WWU) conducting sensitive vegetation clearance on a number of sites to facilitate essential remediation works.
As part of this statutory undertaking, a number of large trees often have to be removed to provide site access. This process regularly generates large volumes of what could otherwise have been seen as green waste. As a sustainable and practical alternative, the material was instead recycled within the local community. Specifically, several tonnes of wood chip were provided to local community projects including volunteer groups, allotments and a small community farm. Larger logs were also provided to local businesses (including National Resources Wales) to heat their office facilities and workshops. All clearance works conducted by Keystone Habitats were performed under a Precautionary Working Method Statement and overseen by a suitably qualified Ecological Clerk of Works from Keystone Ecology to ensure no protected species were detrimentally affected by the works. Keystone Habitats also retained a percentage of the material which will be utilised for local habitat enhancement schemes, such as the creation of reptile and amphibian hibernacula.
Working directly with WWU, Keystone Habitats have also provided habitat enhancements following a substantial tree removal and bank stabilisation scheme on the River Loughor in Carmarthenshire. In this instance, arisings from tree removal were used to create an artificial Otter holt, with log piles created to support the reptile and terrestrial invertebrate populations associated with the site. A number of bat and bird boxes were also installed, of which, several of the latter were found to contain active nests this spring.