Ecological Support for Expansion of New School
Our landscape scope of works comprised the preparation of a detailed landscaping scheme which designed a number of specific zones within the school with differing objectives and constraints and set out detailed prescriptions for their creation and maintenance. These included the following elements:
- Building frontage and car park: Here visual amenity was the over-riding objective, with blocks of ornamental trees, shrubs and ground cover planting designed to provide year-round colour and interest whilst ensuring reasonable maintenance levels and visibility considerations.
- School zone areas: The areas immediately surrounding the school buildings, including external play space, required a landscape design solution which comprised non-harmful plants which were attractive year-round, attracted birds and butterflies and could be conducive to education, including ‘edible landscape’ plants such as soft fruits.
- Site boundary: Other than the main frontage, a more naturalistic solution was required in the form of a native hedgerow which would provided boundary integrity, visual amenity and ecological linkage.
- Ecological area: This area was created to mitigate the loss of existing rough ground habitat on site. It was designed principally as a wildflower meadow with central pond (with viewing platform for educational purposes) and a range of habitat enhancement features including native herbaceous planting and log pile and hibernacula construction.
Our ecological scope of works broadly comprised mitigation of impacts upon the site’s existing great crested newt population and maximisation of the development’s ecological BREEAM credits.
The great crested newt mitigation works included the facilitation of a Natural England licence for the trapping and translocation of the species and creation of a suitable reserve in which the trapped individuals could be kept for the duration of construction. This work is currently ongoing as a result of the requirement for species population monitoring.