Great crested newt mitigation and habitat creation works, Basildon

What we did

Redrow Homes asked us to carry out ecological mitigation and habitat creation works on a large residential development site in Basildon, Essex. We carried out extensive habitat creation and enhancement works to the adjacent designated receptor site and, working alongside a team of ecologists, we installed fencing and traps to trap and translocate the great crested newts.

What we did

  • We created three ponds, and earth bunds of varying size and shape to provide diverse aquatic and terrestrial habitat for great crested newts.
  • We installed logpiles, stone hibernacula, and a brash corridor to provide suitable refuges and connectivity within the receptor site.
  • We planted over 2500 hedgerow whips (and fencing) to provide screening and a barrier between the development and the receptor site.
  • We sensitively cleared vegetation to facilitate wildlife fence installation using a low ground-pressure (LGP) track loader.
  • We installed 1.5km of semi-permanent fencing, 2km of temporary great crested newt fencing, and 400 pitfall traps to enable the great crested newts to be moved from the works site.

Adding value

  • Bringing forward the vegetation clearance to avoid nesting birds, ensuring that there were no delays for our client.
  • Using a LGP track loader for the majority of the works in the receptor site to minimise ground disturbance, and also when clearing vegetation. This saved time and associated costs.
  • Using our interactive mapping software (TIM) and mobile mapping equipment to mark features on the ground, and so to assist with monitoring project progress.

The outcome

Working under ecological supervision, we completed the works on time, enabling the great crested newts trapping and translocation programme to begin without delay and guarantee that the main works were not delayed beyond what was planned.