Biodiversity enhancement works for Gloucester City Council orchard
March 26, 2016
Ecological Impact Assessment & Phase 1 habitat, bat, reptile and badger surveys at Bristol Arena
March 28, 2016

Sensitive clearance of vegetation and trees from a 0.9 hectare site in St Pauls, Bristol

T he site, an ex-industrial area, is located close to the centre of Bristol adjacent to the M32 and is bordered by a scrap metal yard, housing estates and industrial units. The site had fallen into disuse and was most recently being used as a traveller site.  Ecological survey had identified the site as being used by Great Crested Newts, and as the area was now to be developed to house a storage facility it was required to capture and translocate the newts to an adjacent receptor site.

In order to facilitate this capture fencing would need to be installed and a translocation process carried out over the coming months. Much of the site was overgrown with brambles, grassy scrub and small trees. These all needed to be removed sensitively to avoid harm to any GCN present and make the fence installation and translocation possible.

Wild Service tendered for and won the contract to carry out the de-vegetation process. The site was not without significant challenges in terms of location, hazardous waste and unstable ground. There were large amounts of fly tipping, human waste and unpredictable areas of ground where open drainage inspection covers were discovered leading to deep voids. Large steep piles of unstable rubble and debris were also present and needed to be de-vegetated.

A method statement was prepared to address these issues and detail the systems of work required to carry out the work safely and efficiently. Following a very thorough hazard and risk assessment of the site a plan was drawn up and five personnel were deployed to de-vegetate the site to a height of 10cm.

Due to the amount of debris and waste on the site, and the presence of GCNs, motor manual methods had to be utilised. With careful progress and on-going hazard assessment of the site, the contract was completed in four days. This measured and efficient approach will allow the translocation and other site activities to begin on time and to plan.