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Preston Road, Lancashire

Client: Miller Homes
Duration: March to November 2013
Area of survey: Land off Preston Road, Longridge (approximately 2.2ha)
Project manager: Jennie Caddick
Project team: Jennie Caddick (Ecologist Team Leader) and Adrian Aspinall (Assistant Ecologist)
Outputs: Production of a Natural England licence for great crested newt followed by site clearance, works supervision and habitat creation on site.

Background - Haycock and Jay Associates Ltd were commissioned by Miller Homes to obtain a Natural England licence to exclude great crested newt from land to the south of Longridge, Lancashire prior to its development for residential housing. The licence was required following identification of a great crested newt breeding pond within 250m of the site with land inside the site providing suitable terrestrial and aquatic habitat for newts. The licence application was submitted in consultation with Natural England Senior Wildlife Advisors to ensure the best mitigation strategy was achieved.

Ecological Supervision - Following receipt of the Natural England licence ecological supervision to include installation of the amphibian exclusion fencing and drift fencing, pit fall trapping and destructive searches of terrestrial and aquatic habitats were carried out during the specified license period and in accordance with those methodologies agreed with Natural England. During the site clearance smooth newts, frogs and toads, including four great crested newt were found and removed from the site into an agreed translocation area.

In addition to works under the Natural England license, bat activity surveys, tree inspections and supervision of tree felling were also carried out at trees identified as having potential for roosting bats.

Reporting & Mapping - Submission of a licence application including associated programme, maps and plans was undertaken in June 2013 with a subsequent licence amendment made in November 2013. The licence amendment required the redesign of approximately 35m of amphibian exclusion fencing to be replaced by an amphibian grid/stop channel design to allow for vehicle and pedestrian access into the site while still ensuring the site remains newt free.

Amphibian grid/stop channel design:

Amphibian grid/stop channel design