I was commissioned to provide ecological survey of two small sites in Colne which were earmarked for residential development. Extended Phase 1 habitat survey – bread-and-butter work for any ecological consultant. I’ve been doing this type of survey work since I first started out in 1998 and I really enjoy the process of getting to know a site and local area.
I generally do my desk study first, and am always interested to see what has been found in an area previously – I suppose I just like poring over maps and now that I can download species records to my GIS I can MAP ALL THE THINGS !! I spend time viewing aerial photos, designated site citations and species records because it helps me look out for things which might be important locally – easy to miss if you’re not already very familiar with the local area.
Suitably primed, I then head to site, where there are always a few surprises. In this case, the desk study turned up absolutely no records of badgers, but look what I found about 250m from one of the sites:
There was no evidence of badger activity on the site itself, though. Phew! Record duly sent to Lancashire Badger Group so that they can investigate further and hopefully find and protect the sett.
As always there was potential for roosting bats, this time in some mature trees adjacent to the site.
These are all to be retained, so that’s good.
I didn’t find much of interest at the second site, except the mystery of how anyone could put a house on a plot that small (!)
Hope there are plenty more where these sites came from 🙂