Under environmental law, its not only plant and animal species that are protected, but also certain habitats as well.
Habitats form a valuable location that support a wide range of further species (including protected ones).
Most habitats are easily recognisable and are generally picked up as part of a PEA survey (see Mapping), however where your site is more ecologically or environmentally important we can also offer a NVC (National Vegetation Classification) or Phase 2 Habitat survey that would provide a much deeper understanding of the ecological characteristics of your site.
Back to Ecology Services.
Following agreement with Natural England, we have been improving habitats in the Internationally important Upper Nene Valley Special Protection Area. This designated nature conservation site is important for overwintering birds supporting important populations of Bittern, Golden Plover, Mute Swan, Widgeon and Gadwall. Over time the grassland becomes encroached by hawthorn, blackthorn and willow and we have been tasked with removing these self-seeding woody species to keep the area suitable for these birds.
Since the site is important for wintering birds, this management needs to be completed in Spring months when these birds are absent. As there is some risk of nesting birds being present in spring, our ecologists have been keeping a close eye on the works providing frequent checks for nesting birds and giving tool box talks to the vegetation management team.
Later in the summer we will be managing the grassland to create a nutritious sward for the arrival of overwintering wigeon, with early and late summer cuts concluding the management team for the site.