Projects

Pond Clearance in West Sussex

Pond Clearance in West Sussex

A Natural England licence was granted for a development close to a known GCN population in West Sussex. The pond on site was grossly overgrown with scrub around the banks and immature willows are encroaching into the water. Only limited management, if any, had been previously undertaken on site, leaving dense areas of bramble and thick blackthorn areas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In November 2017, two of our ecologists undertook two days of habitat management within and around the pond. Hand tools were used to cut back the scrub and create access routes to the pond edge. A brush-cutter was used to clear some of the denser scrub around the southern bank. Waders were donned for some of the willow clearance within the pond, and dead wood was removed from the central island.

A varied habitat structure was created with some scrub retained on the pond edges. Log piles were created from coppiced willow and dead wood and built on the edge of the scrub to create suitable habitat for amphibians and common reptiles. Brash piles were also created from cleared vegetation which are expected to die down and create suitable hibernacula.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The pond area is now considered to not only be more aesthetically pleasing, close to the new development, but also has created a varied habitat with more opportunities for amphibians and reptiles. Regular management will need to be undertaken around the edges of the pond to stop scrub encroaching into the water’s edge and maintain the open areas on the banks.

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