Viridor – Wangford, Suffolk (Mar 2016)

Sustainable landuse for future investment

Overview

A 14 ha restoration to arable land was proving unsuccessful for the farmer (who was also the landlord). Lockhart Garratt was commissioned to investigate and design an alternative land use for planning approval. The soil survey identified localized water logging / rutting and compaction below 400mm depth. Discussion with the farmer showed recent crop yields were 60% of regional averages and the infrastructure of landfill gas pipes below ground and surface wells / vents above, was hampering machinery movement and making deep sub‐soiling unviable.

The Lockhart Garratt team explored the scope of the farmers wider agri‐environment scheme to assist the restoration and found that the owners were receptive to using this small-scale site for habitat options. It was identified that a grassland restoration to grazing / hay cropping (including seed mixes to accommodate the sandy loam soils) would still fit within the planning requirement for agriculture.

Lockhart Garratt designed areas for rotational bird seed crops and re‐establishment of a former field boundary with hedgerow / scrub, to fit with the habitat mosaic. Planning sign off was successfully achieved.

 

Key Features

  • Challenging arable restoration
  • Grassland restoration to grazing / hay cropping

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