skip to Main Content

Long Stratton area action plan

Ecological Enhancement Advice targeted by habitat

WFE provided enhancement advice for a variety of habitats on site

WFE was commissioned to provide an ecological assessment of a proposed bypass and 1,800 house development at Long Stratton in Norfolk. We worked with the development team from an early stage on the location of development and greenspace. Ongoing ecological surveys were performed to refine project design, and further define any constraints and opportunities for enhancement.

Once surveys were completed, WFE provided a valued input into the landscaping design, advising significant ecological enhancements into the scheme which reflected the species and habitats shown to be present during surveys. This targeted approach will maximise the biodiversity net gain on the developed site. Considerations for the development included circular walks, cycle paths, wildlife planting, provision for arable plants and retention and reconnection of other important features such as ponds.

Ecological mitigation for a coastal grassland site

ecological mitigation coastal grassland

Broom flowering on the existing site

A brownfield site in North Norfolk is planned to accommodate a small housing development. It was surveyed by WFE and found to have a good quality semi-improved coastal-type grassland in parts of the site, including such species as spring vetch, rest-harrow and abundant common knapweed. As the grassland was determined to be neutral rather than acid or chalky, it was not considered to be a Priority Habitat. However, the case was put to the developer that the grassland was worth saving, to which the developer agreed.

There was no room on the developed site to accommodate the grassland, and the site is not well ecologically connected. It was considered that offsite compensation would be the only realistic option. A mitigation plan was put together in consultation with the county ecologist. The plan is to translocate turves and seed from the grassland to a site a few miles along the coast to try to establish it in a similar coastal location. The scheme has full support of the landowner, and is due to take place in 2020. Watch this space for updates!

ecological mitigation coastal grassland

Receptor site for seed and turves

Bats in a barn conversion

bats barn conversion Adam

Adam installs a receptor bat box on a tree as part of the mitigation for a bat EPS licence

As part of the works under a bat EPS licence, WFE provided an ECoW service for the conversion of a barn complex in Hindolveston, Norfolk in 2018.  Survey work over the summer of 2017 identified the presence of common pipistrelle, soprano pipistrelle and brown long-eared bat roosts within the barns.

The ECoW service included a “Toolbox Talk” to contractors prior to commencement of works on the site to ensure awareness of protected species issues and their responsibilities while working on the site, direct supervision of sensitive works, and consultation to ensure the correct installation of mitigation and compensation measures on site.

During the course of the supervised hand-stripping of roof tiles from the barns, two roosting bats were encountered; one common pipistrelle and one brown long-eared bat.  On each of these occasions the Natural England bat licensed ECoW was on hand to

bats barn conversion pip

A common pipistrelle was safely translocated during an Ecological Clerk of Works supervised roof strip

carefully remove the bat from the works site, give it a health check and relocate it to a receptor bat box in a suitable location elsewhere on site. 

Due to the effective ECoW service provided this project ran smoothly in accordance with the terms and conditions of the EPS licence, resulting in the prevention of harm to roosting bats and effective mitigation and compensation measures being implemented.


Arboricultural Impact Assessment for 160 new homes

Wild Frontier Ecology provided an initial tree constraints plan at a large site where an 160 home development is proposed. The survey found 300 individual trees on the site, and 23 groups of trees – many of which are protected by Tree Preservation Orders. These included a large variety of species such as silver birch, common lime, sycamore, red horse chestnut, horse chestnut, ash, and whitebeam. The initial tree survey and maps allowed for the homes to be designed amongst the trees to ensure maximum retention.

arboricultural impact assessment

There were 23 groups of trees on site

There were a number of additional issues to be considered on this site, such as the need to remove contaminated soil. WFE provided advice on this, so that no tree roots were damaged in the process, as well as on creation and upgrade of roads and paths which could affect tree roots. To prevent any damage during construction WFE provided information on suitable working methods, such as hand digging and fencing to protect trees. 

Many of the trees set to be removed on site had little arboricultural value, and were estimated to have a remaining lifespan of less than 10 years. However, old trees tend to have features such as cracks and crevices which provide suitable habitat for roosting bats. Experienced ecologists from WFE appraised the trees on site, and found that several trees earmarked for removal had significant roosting potential for bats. Licensed bat experts from WFE will be carrying out further bat activity surveys in the summer to inform an EPS license. Here, WFE’s joint arboriculture and ecology expertise were invaluable, as our ecologists were able to work together with our arboriculturalist to assess overall impacts of tree removal and give the client a broad picture of the site’s trees. 

Once the design had been finalised, an Arboricultural Impact Assessment was produced alongside a Tree Protection Plan and Method Statement. This will be used to instruct the developers in how to mitigate any tree removal on site and how to protect those that remain. The Arboricultural Impact Assessment also specifies in detail new tree plantings on site, which will enhance the arboricultural and ecological value of the site in the long term. 

Ground Source Heat Pump

tree survey heat pump

Semi-mature woodland trees were protected by tree protection fencing

Wild Frontier Ecology (WFE) provided a Tree Protection Plan (TPP) and Method Statement for the installation of a ground source heat pump. WFE conducted a tree survey adjacent to an area which would need to be excavated to install a ground source heat pump. The survey found two individual trees on site, an oak in poor condition and a horse chestnut tree in good condition and with moderate landscape value. There was also a small area of semi-mature planted woodland on site with silver birch, sycamore, oak, sweet chestnut, field maple, and hazel. The development had been designed so that all the trees on site could be retained. 

A map was produced showing where the tree roots were likely to be, and found the pipework would pass through the Root Protection Area of the horse chestnut tree which was assessed to have moderate landscape value. WFE were able to specify measures such as hand digging and an impermeable root barrier material to protect this tree. WFE also provided best practice methods for avoiding rooting areas, including lining the boundary of the pipework with impermeable root barrier material to prevent root ingress as trees in the area mature. This will prevent roots from the woodland area interfering with pipework as the trees grow and mature. 

By working with the client, WFE were able to ensure that trees would not be affected by the development and that the pipework would not be damaged by tree roots in the long term.

The report was submitted to the local planning authority to fulfil a condition of planning permission.

Restoration of derelict barns in North Norfolk

Restoration of derelict barns in North Norfolk, for conversion into residential accommodation.

WFE undertook an initial assessment followed by protected species surveys for bats and barn owls, and following planning permission, worked closely with the developer to obtain an EPS licence for the bats roosting within the main barn.

A nearby pond was also surveyed for great crested newts, although none were found, and thus removed the need for further consideration of this species.

Back To Top