Our in-house ecologist Samantha Hursey, contributed to the latest edition of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM)’s InPractice publication with an article on relocating orchid species in order to preserve and protect them successfully. It can take a considerable number of years for newly created habitats to attain the same level of biodiversity as habitats that is lost. The article describes the translocation of biodiverse grassland habitat, highlighting the importance of pre-construction surveys, having an ecologist present during the works, the need for quick decision making, problem solving and a good relationship and communication with the contractors undertaking the works. The article includes ‘lessons learned’ to provide helpful information for other projects undertaking similar translocation works. Key points include:
• Importance of information collection prior to works
• Access requirements and restrictions considered
• Minimising time delays to reduce the risk of the turves drying out or disintegrating
• Exposed edges of grassland and turves within the donor and receptor site covered with hessian to prevent frost damage during cold weather
• Careful preparation of the donor and receptor sites – avoid soil compaction as this can affect growth of the root systems
• Ensure appropriate sub-soil conditions for grassland species being translocated – translocate the sub-soil too
• Make the surface area of the turves as large as practically possible
• A turf-cutting box guillotine was constructed to ensure the turves would be closely abutted
• Ensuring the turves are laid carefully and correctly to improve establishment and prevent drying out and damaging of the root hairs
• Variations in methodology – flexibility to allow for new solutions to be implemented to address challenges faced
• Good communication with the contractor to solve practical problems
• Monitoring and adaptive management is key to long-term success
Mitigation measures are an important consideration on development schemes and Samantha ensures Meadfleet manage any such measures carefully on our sites to protect, support and encourage wildlife.
To read the full article click here.
To find out more about CIEEM, visit their website – https://www.cieem.net/