ecology habitats marine

Outflow restoration and vegetation clearance, Quoisley Mere Site of Special Scientific Interest

Natural England

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.
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