ecology habitats marine

Vegetation Maintenance on a Geological Site of Special Scientific Interest

Taylor Wimpey

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.
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