Tag Archives: Phase 1 habitat

Ecological appraisal, Great Sankey, Warrington (2016)

It all sounded so easy on paper.  Nip round to Great Sankey, a couple of miles from home, do a quick Phase 1 habitat survey and then write up the report.  Bog standard, totally normal day at work.

Nope. Continue reading

Ecological appraisal of two wastewater treatment works, Anglesey (2016)

I don’t usually travel as far as Anglesey for work, but occasionally it’s nice to go further afield.  This project involved ecological appraisal of two small wastewater treatment works in north west Anglesey.  Turning down the lane to the first site, I noticed a large development on the corner, ringed in great crested newt fencing.  Fairly big clue to the main ecological concern in this area!  Tourists often just visit the island’s spectacular coastline, but inland Anglesey is famous amongst ecologists for its cornucopia of wetlands, from ponds to lakes to internationally important species-rich fens and marshes.  And this means great crested newts are frequently found.

Great crested newt photographed in Cheshire in 2014 as part of a licensed survey

Great crested newt photographed in Cheshire in 2014 as part of a licensed survey

Continue reading

A slag heap in Lancashire (2016)

Appetising, no ?!  Don’t I get to go to some nice places in this job……

Actually, slag heaps are pretty interesting places if you’re a botanist, often with interesting chemistry quite different from their surroundings – maybe alkaline in an acid area, or with metal contamination, and they always seem to have some ecological oddity.

2016-07-21 12.02.24 (450x800) Continue reading

Ecological appraisal, farm accesses, Cheshire (2016)

One of the smallest projects I’ve ever advised on.  This involved a new farm building access and new car parking area in rural Cheshire.  Usually, something this minor wouldn’t attract the attention of the county ecologist, but in this case the site was in a SSSI Impact Risk Zone as it was very close to a SSSI, and just 10 metres from a Local Wildlife Site, so I was called in to provide Extended Phase 1 habitat survey and advice to the project team. Continue reading

Ecological appraisal on the Migneint, North Wales (2016)

Another small project for Welsh Water, this time appraising some very minor repairs indeed, but in a highly designated location.  The Migneint is a place of legend amongst Welsh botanists, not least for its consistently horrible weather.  It is part of Migneint-Arenig-Dduallt SSSI and internationally important for its blanket bogs and upland bird communities as well as home to otters, water voles and an array of interesting and notable species.

Fortunately the repairs as well as being minor were in locations accessible from an existing track, which meant there was no need for workers to traverse the adjacent semi-natural habitats.  Just as well, really, because our survey found that the ground was rather soft in places, with plenty of Sphagnum and bottle sedge.  Put me in mind of the kinds of stories digger drivers like to tell, the ones which start with them being asked to  “just drive across the river so you can start digging from the other side” and end with them losing a second digger in the mud whilst trying to pull out the first !

Luckily there was no evidence of water vole either, so provided an ecologist is there to check everything again before the works start, there should be no problem with the repair project.