Ecology Mitigation and Enhancement Plan for Land at Falmer Avenue, Saltdean
The Ecology Mitigation and Enhancement Plan for the land at Falmer Avenue, Saltdean, outlines recommendations to protect and enhance the local ecology as a part of planning conditions. Here are the key recommendations made in the report:
Protecting and Retaining Trees and Hedgerows
The plan recommends protecting and retaining trees, hedgerows, and native climbing plants in the southwest corner of the site. This measure will help preserve the existing ecology of the area and provide a habitat for local wildlife.
The plan also recommends safeguarding all topsoil for re-spreading on garden areas and other green spaces. This measure will help ensure that the soil remains fertile and suitable for growing vegetation, which will in turn support the local ecosystem.
Creating a Nature Garden
One of the key recommendations of the plan is to create a nature garden with a range of features. The garden will include native hedgerows, trees and shrubs, and fruit-bearing trees and shrubs. The plan also recommends creating wildflower meadow areas using an EM6 seed mix composed of 20% native wildflowers and 80% slow-growing grasses (by weight). The addition of 5% Horseshoe Vetch (Hippocrepis comosa) into the seed mixture will provide a habitat for the Chalk hill blue butterfly. Ground preparation methods will be used to ensure success in growing the wildflower meadow areas.
Protecting Ivy and Pipes
The report also highlights the importance of dense ivy covering fences and spilling into the field as a good feature for nesting birds. The plan recommends protecting and retaining the ivy. Additionally, a pipe/culvert with locked iron bars and raised brick edges is present on the site and should be preserved.
Providing Habitat for Bats and Birds
The Ecology Mitigation and Enhancement Plan also recommends installing bird and bat boxes on the site. The plan recommends supplying and fixing three crevice bat boxes designed for small crevice-dwelling bats like the Common and Soprano Pipistrelles. The boxes will have external surfaces painted black to increase heat absorption, ceramic heat sinks, and precision-cut FSC certified panels for dry, draught-free, and long-lasting boxes. The report also recommends installing bird boxes for house sparrows, chaffinch, starling, and house martin.
Creating Habitat for Ground Nesting Birds
To create a suitable habitat for ground nesting birds like skylarks, the report recommends sensitive management of grassland to avoid harm. This will involve using a double chop mower and mowing from the center outwards to protect reptiles, amphibians, and chicks. Vegetation will be kept below 5cm to prevent harm to ground nesting birds, and unmown “corridors” will be left to allow chicks to escape to field edges. Mowing technology plays an important role in preserving ground beetles and amphibians.
In conclusion, the Ecology Mitigation and Enhancement Plan for the land at Falmer Avenue, Saltdean, provides a comprehensive set of recommendations to protect and enhance the local ecology. These measures will help ensure that the site remains a healthy and vibrant ecosystem that supports local wildlife for years to come.