New Habitat of Principal Importance – mosaics

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

Senior ecologists from The Ecology Consultancy attended a training day led by Peter Harvey, with speakers from BugLife and Natural England, to learn about recent information resources on open mosaic habitat on previously development land (OMH), to explore the OMH website, interactive map and survey assessment protocol.
OMH is a recent addition to the list of Habitat of Principal Importance in the UK. Unlike traditional semi-natural habitats such as heathland, OMH does not conform to any set of rules, so it can be very hard to define and can often be overlooked due to its scruffy appearance, and unappealing use for unsociable behaviour.
Certain species that were mentioned included the rare bombardier beetle, known to have a strong hold along the Thames Corridor.
Wendy McFarlane, our senior ecologist found out from Dr. Sarah Henshall, a Buglife lead ecologist, on how to survey for this species in the preferred habitat of concrete rubble (featured image)!

quarry-spoil-heaphttp://habitatsurveys.esdm.co.uk/  – This site (online map) is home to the first ever national inventory of biodiversity rich brownfield habitat, termed Open Mosaic Habitats on Previously Developed Land (OMH). This inventory distinguishes areas of OMH from other brownfields or previously modified sites. Currently 8% of total brownfield sites meet OMH criteria.

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