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Biodiversity, Ornithology and Nature

Biodiversity, Ornithology and Nature

Understanding the potential for a development to impact on habitats, birds and other species is an important part of scheme design.

We have

  • Undertaken a series of desk-based studies to identify existing records of species and habitats;

  • Undertaken baseline ecological surveys on site for protected species and habitats; and

  • Undertaken baseline ornithological surveys.

We found

There are no statutory designated sites or non-statutory designated sites within the Site. There is one area of replanted ancient woodland which falls within the Site, this is part of Knighton Wood and is located at the southwestern corner of the Site. There is UK Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) Priority Habitat within the Site in the form of deciduous woodland. Midland Meres and Mosses Phase 2 Ramsar Site is located approximately 4.2km to the northeast.

Staffordshire Ecological Record provided a record of Great crested newt from 2009, located approximately 700m to the southwest.

There are two areas of Ancient Woodland within 2km of the Site:

  • Knighton Woodland replanted ancient woodland (15ha) is located directly to the south. This area is also deciduous woodland UK BAP Priority Habitat; and

  • Bishops Wood (349.22ha) is located approximately 1.03km to the north.

Staffordshire Ecological Record provided a record of Great crested newt from 2009, located approximately 700m to the southwest on the opposite side of the Shropshire Union Canal.

The following protected and priority species have been surveyed:

  • Evidence of an inactive badger sett;

  • Moderate habitat suitability for foraging and commuting bats and numerous potential roosting features;

  • Hedgerows, trees and woodland habitats have the potential to support breeding birds;

  • Hedgerows, field margins, semi-improved grassland areas and spoil pile on Site have the potential to support basking, foraging and sheltering reptiles;

  • Evidence of Otter footprint, although no suitable foraging habitat was present and no holts found

  • Off-site replanted ancient woodland and scrub / hedgerows within the Site suitable for dormice habitat.

What we propose to do

Three areas to the northeast of the site will be given over to Habitat creation and biodiversity enhancement.


Above: extract from the Proposed Layout showing the three Habitat Management Areas to the northeast

The enhancement areas will likely consist of grassland with wildflowers and scrub. This mix has been chosen to improve biodiversity of the current fields, minimise landscape and visual impacts and to minimise impact on setting for those using Public Rights of Way (PRoW).

SPR will seek to mitigate impacts on ecology by:

  • Avoid, where possible, the removal of scrub, hedgerows, mature trees, woodland, field margins;

  • Avoidance of light spill onto hedgerows; and

  • Adopting safe working buffers where protected species are found.

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