The Ecology Consultancy made a number of recommendations to Hastoe Housing Association, aimed at enhancing natural habitats on areas destined for housing, all of which were adopted by their contractors.
During our Phase 1 survey of this Passivhaus housing and mixed development site, a Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) species, the house sparrow, was recorded in high numbers and historical records of grass snakes and great crested newts were found.
We recommended leaving the margins of the site semi-wild, retaining the current vegetation and, to provide habitats for species such as the stag-beetle, creating stacked log and brash piles. These would also potentially attract other BAP species such as reptiles, amphibians and hedgehogs. We advised the client to place bird and bat boxes in trees and on walls, and artificial bat roosts in buildings near to woodland and tree lines.
The site offered scope for tree- and shrub-planting, so we recommended the introduction of native tree species to the designated public open space, such as wild cherry, aspen and silver birch. New hedgerows of hawthorn, blackthorn, field maple, buckthorn, hazel and elder, with climbers such as old man’s beard and honeysuckle, were also planned. Further planting of shrubs such as crab apple, and bulbs such as wild daffodil and native bluebell, was incorporated into the plan.