Pro Vision Ecology was commissioned to conduct an Extended Phase I Ecological Assessment of an area of land highlighted for the construction of a sustainable winter water storage system and reservoir. The reservoir is for Hiller Nurseries.
Following an initial Prior Notification Application, the Local Planning Authority identified the need for a full application for planning consent to be submitted due to the potential to impact upon great crested newts, reptiles and upon an adjacent Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC).
By working closely with Hilliers, reservoir engineers, hydrologists and the County Ecology department, Pro Vision Ecology was able to design a bespoke mitigation strategy. The strategy enabled the reduction and mitigation of residual impacts to internationally protected great crested newts (Triturus cristatus) and nationally protected reptiles.
The scheme has been designed in sympathy with local wildlife and nearby areas of conservation interest. It incorporates measures which aim to provide long-term benefit to biodiversity. These include spillways to ensure continued surface water flow to the adjacent Ampfield Wood, native reed bed and wetland planting, methods of water abstraction which prevent harm or injury to amphibians and aquatic invertebrates, and native wildflower seeding of surrounding land. The scheme now has planning consent and, subject to DEFRA grant funding, is due to be constructed in 2014.