Ecology

An initial phase 1 habitat survey has been undertaken by Grass Roots Ecology and will be subject to further updates during 2016. Hedgerows form the boundaries of the site and occasionally intersect it. These are of some value for their maturity and structure but none were identified as being particularly species-rich.

A proportion of the site was identified back in 1996 as a local Wildlife Site on account of its calcareous grassland; preliminary findings suggest that the upper slopes in the northern part of the site may be of highest botanical interest and accordingly this has been retained and kept free from any development in the emerging concept master plan for the site. The potential to clear and maintain parts of this land will ensure a significant opportunity to enhance the botanical interest of this part of the site. Access into the site from the north off Doniford Road has also been positioned as far west as possible to prevent habitat loss or fragmentation within the local wildlife site.

A number of surveys will be undertaken to determine the presence of bats but it is largely considered that the hedgerows, scrub and trees present the greatest opportunity for these species. Accordingly these will be retained, with additional enhancements recommended following the results of the surveys.

Other measures for ecological enhancement include:

  • Design of a sensitive lighting scheme to ensure dark corridors for the more light-sensitive bat species;
  • Provision of bat and bird boxes;
  • Retention of semi-improved and neutral grassland within the north of the site;
  • Retention of habitats within the north of the site which will be enhanced for a range of potential species, including badgers, reptiles, invertebrates, bats and birds; and
  • New planting areas to comprise native species of local provenance and of known value to wildlife. 

View full image

View full image