Ecology Mitigation works

Mitigation and enhancement on a major road project, M25 Ponds

Client: Skanska Balfour Beatty JV

Objective: Mitigation and enhancement.

The project to widen stretches of the M25 has involved The Ecology Consultancy’s ecologists over a number of years, working alongside the contractor Skanska Balfour Beatty JV to safeguard wildlife and to undertake a major translocation of reptiles and great crested newts to suitable habitat nearby.

Overall our ecologists have supervised the conservation of over 2500 wild animals, including lizards, great crested newts, toads and frogs, slow worms, grass snakes, and adders, across section 4. Clearance of trees and scrub vegetation has been kept to a minimum, with losses compensated by the introduction of new native planting, sensitive landscaping and habitat creation.

A significant programme of ecological surveys, mitigation and enhancement measures were put in place to ensure species are protected. We also provided artificial hibernacula and log piles for great crested newts, reptiles and invertebrates, and erected bird and bat boxes.

Section 4a of the M25 (a 5.3 mile stretch between Junctions 27 and 28), attained the CEEQUAL Award. The Ecology Consultancy contributed the ecology and biodiversity chapter of the Assessment.  At Section 4b the ponds are teaming with wildlife, natably  common darter dragonflies and abundant aquatic  invertebrates.  Reed-mace is  forming  a dense stand surrounding the permanent water. Frequent visitors include grey heron,  common snipe and pied wagtails feeding in the shallow water. Meadow pipits feed in the surrounding meadow. These areas are now providing superb wildlife habitat of much higher value than that which was there before – grazed improved grassland.

CEEQUAL is the assessment and awards scheme for improving sustainability in civil engineering, infrastructure, landscaping and the public realm, and celebrates the achievement of high environmental and social performance. This evidence-based award rigorously assesses performance on management in 12 areas of environmental and social concern (including Ecology and Biodiversity).

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