ecology habitats marine

Sensitive Ditch Maintenance, Northern Mashes

Cory Environmental

Keystone Habitats was successful in their tender application to conduct annual ditch maintenance of a series of waterbodies to maximise their potential for a recently released Water Vole population.

What did we do?

  • Formulated an annual maintenance regime in accordance with the Erith and Belvedere ditches and dykes management plan.
  • Composed a thorough Method Statement and Risk Assessment to account for the potential hazards on site.
  • Conducted a site visit to discuss management options with the client.
  • Ditch clearance and restoration.
  • Provision of a safe working zone for all operatives.
  • Removal of all waste and fly-tipped material.
  • Staged  selective vegetation clearance.
  • On-going monitoring of Water Vole population and formulation of a long term management plan.

How did we do it?

  • Close communication with the client and other parties involved including the Environment Agency and Council Ecologist.
  • Pre-works Water Vole survey to establish the areas in need of maintenance.
  • Installation of temporary lane closures to ensure safe working practices.
  • Mechanical clearance of fly-tipped material with a mini excavator and dumper to eliminate contact with waste.
  • Selective vegetation clearance with hand tools to prevent excessive shading of the watercourse.
  • Removal of detritus and excessive vegetation matter.
  • Disposal of all waste at the on-site recycling facility.

What were the outcomes?

  • The ditches were left in an optimal condition to sustain Water Vole and field signs were subsequently discovered.
  • All parties involved were pleased with the result.
  • Minimal disturbance was caused to the adjacent highway and the works were completed according to programme, on budget.
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