Phase 1 habitat survey of an interesting industrial estate, Cumbria (2015)

‘Interesting industrial estate’ is not in fact an oxymoron.  The last time I surveyed an industrial estate in Cumbria it was chuffing with great crested newts, and quite a surprise, and this site was no less unexpected.

I had checked the aerial photo beforehand, so I knew the site wasn’t all buildings and amenity grassland, but I wasn’t expecting this:

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That’s a load of twayblades you can see there, in unimproved botanically diverse grassland.  Result !  Well sort of, obviously it took me quite a bit longer to survey the site than I expected, but at least it was for a nice reason 🙂

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Around the corner there an interesting wet open area with loads of different sedges, and on the other side of the site I found some unusual wet willow scrub with a strange combination of plants including marsh arrowgrass, common spike-rush, reedmace and Sphagnum species:

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Not bad when I was expecting to look at this for two days:

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Happily, it would appear that all the client wants to do at this stage is demolish some of the industrial buildings, which seem pretty uninteresting for wildlife, and now they know they will need to take care if they want to develop the rest of the site.  I’d call that a successful project 🙂


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