Increasingly, companies are rewilding sites after their industrial use has ended. Often this is part of the original planning conditions to permit development.
Tice’s Meadow Nature Reserve, located between Surrey and Hampshire, is now one of the best bird watching sites in Surrey. It covers 150 acres of open water, gravel islands, scrapes, reed bed, scrub, woodland and wet and dry grassland, and is now designated a Site of Nature Conservation Interest. It is managed by dedicated volunteers of the Tice’s Meadow Bird Group and rangers from the Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership.
Until recently, Tice’s Meadow Nature Reserve was an active quarry operated run by Hanson Aggregates. It was progressively restored toturned into a wildlife haven following the cessation of quarrying activities. This included the creation of a conservation grassland on the western part of the site.
In 2011 we undertook a survey of this grassland to assess changes in plant communities following the restoration. A number of vegetation plots were thoroughly surveyed and related to plant communities described in the National Vegetation Classification. Recently we were commissioned to undertake further monitoring of the grassland to record how the habitat has developed.
These surveys are part of long-term biodiversity monitoring at the site. Any changes recorded in plant communities could be clearly related to changes in the management and hydrology of the site, and in particular the recent introduction of year-round cattle grazing.
Image: Shaun Furguson