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!