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Significant ecological and landscaping measures proposed at site level comply with Policy PC2 - ‘the quality of the rural and built environment will be maintained, conserved and improved’. Additional new habitats such as ponds, bird bricks and bat roosts will increase opportunities for biodiversity at a site level and the planting of replacement heavy standard trees will increase
landscape screening and visual amenity.

Ecological appraisal and landscape design in Loughton, Essex

UES initially completed an Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey and ecological appraisal of a site in Loughton, Essex. The proposed site footprint, currently a mosaic of amenity trees, rough grassland, and shed buildings is located at the rear of an existing nursing home. Our client is proposing to construct a new build residential property in this plot.

Any perceived or actual loss of habitat can be compensated by significant ecological enhancements, which will secure an ecological benefit at a local level, positive planning gain and will also contribute directly to local and regional Biodiversity Action Plans (BAP’s). UES then went on to design a landscape plan so that the site not only looked visually more appealing but provided direct benefits to wildlife and building occupants.

Landscape design

Birds

• planting of berry and nut bearing shrub species to encourage winter birds, particularly thrushes (Redwing, Fieldfare, Waxwing and Blackbirds)
• planting and management of shrubs which develop a mosaic of structures to support breeding birds.

Invertebrates

• use of nectar bearing flowers to encourage invertebrates (bees, beetles, butterflies).

Amphibians

• creation of an ornamental wildlife pond on site to greatly increase the ecological and visual interest of the site and contribute to the Essex County Council BAP. This would attract amphibians and invertebrates which could otherwise not be supported on site.

Trees

• Root Protection Areas (RPA’s) established for mature pear trees onsite and maintained as per BS 5837 Tree Survey standards.

Visual

• use of plant and shrub species which give annual colour and interest hence increasing the visual amenity of the building and its landscape.

Photos