The existing quarry, which is located within Dartmoor National Park, is expected to remain economically viable until c. 2025 and the proposed extension is therefore to extend the life of Linhay Hill Quarry and secure the local economic benefits and jobs it creates.
Our role has included undertaking and co-ordinating baseline surveys for a wide range of protected species, detailed mitigation and design inputs, consultation with stakeholders and regulators and preparation of a wide range of assessments / reports including EcIA, HRA, long-term quarry restoration plans and CEMPs.
To fulfil planning obligations and inform the need for any changes to the curtailment strategy, Woodfield Ecology carried out a suite of bat surveys across each season during the active period for bats.
This comprised of ground level automated bat detector surveys at the base of each turbine, manual bat detector surveys (walked transects using broad spectrum bat detectors fitted with gps loggers) and carcass searching within a 120m x 120m square search area centred on each turbine tower.
Woodfield Ecology completed bat surveys which identified the presence of a Brown Long-eared maternity roost, as well as smaller non-breeding roosts for common and soprano pipistrelles.
A Natural England bat mitigation licence was obtained for the restoration works necessary to bring this building back into use, including soft-stripping of roosting features and bat capture / temporary relocation during works to the loft space.
This information is being used to help guide future management of grassland in the immediate catchment area with the aim of maximising its floristic diversity and biodiversity value.
On behalf of Biocensus, Woodfield Ecology carried out detailed botanical surveys in a total of 13 trial areas using a series of nested quadrats to record the presence and estimate cover of forbs, grasses, bracken and bare ground. We also provided summary analysis and interpretation of the findings to guide future monitoring and management.
Woodfield Ecology carried out an Extended Phase 1 Habitat survey of the site which included a former boat yard and a section of the disused Cattedown freight railway. Subsequently, bat surveys were recommended which revealed the importance of the wharf edge and former railway line as a flight route for lesser horseshoe bats. In close consultation with the Natural Infrastructure team at Plymouth City Council and the project engineer, Woodfield Ecology devised a mitigation strategy to protect and enhance the bat flight route through screening, hedgerow creation and a sensitive lighting strategy.
We also provided detailed inputs to a Construction Environment Management Plan (CEMP) which included recommendations to safeguard against any impacts on the marine environment during construction.
Woodfield Ecology completed a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal of the site and based on the findings, carried out further surveys for reptiles and bats.
Given the ecological constraints associated with the site, we also prepared an Ecological Mitigation & Enhancement Strategy (EMES) including a reptile translocation strategy and provided detailed inputs into the scheme design to ensure key impacts were mitigated and a net gain secured for biodiversity overall.
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