Posted on Jun 22, 2016

Pragmatic approach for site clearance

We aim to bring a pragmatic, problem-solving approach to any project. One such was when Newtown-based civil-engineering contractor, Evabuild, appointed Thomson Habitats to clear vegetation without any undue delay on their site in Winchester, to enable them to extend a modular-building storage compound.

As the works were being carried out during May the vegetation had become home to a number of nesting birds, so the issue was how to complete the job without disturbing nesting birds. We supplied an ecological watching brief, and undertook an initial check to ensure that no active nests would be disturbed as a result of the clearance.

An initial visual check, to see if birds were flying in and out to the same point, identified potential nest locations and then we used a pole-mounted camera linked to the ecologist’s phone to check the nests for eggs or chicks. Where active nests were confirmed, these trees were left undisturbed.

We used our low-impact tracked loader with forestry-mulcher to clear the majority of the vegetation to a fine mulch on the ground. Larger trees were straight-felled by supporting ground teams using chainsaws.

Our mapping platform, TIM (Thomson Interactive Mapping), was used throughout the clearance, to keep us and our client informed of which areas of vegetation were being left as a result of nesting birds, and to see which elements of the project could commence, and when. TIM clearly showed that areas of nesting bird habitat were decreasing in size as the birds fledged and the nests became empty. We could then return to site to clear remaining vegetation.

The project successfully utilised TIM’s mapping technology to help with the project management and reporting, and our tracked mulcher made short work of the dense, thorny vegetation which would have otherwise taken a ground team many more days to complete.

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