Habitat Management - Plumley Wood
Client: Tarmac Ltd
Location: Near Ringwood, Hampshire
Planning consent for the extraction of sand and gravel at Plumley Wood in Ringwood Forest, Hampshire was granted to Tarmac Ltd in 2009. The consent is subject to a Section 106 Agreement which requires the management of 28 ha of land. The overall area is divided into four discrete parcels and is to be managed to meet UK and Hampshire Biodiversity Action Plan objectives for Priority Habitats and Priority Species. AEcol was commissioned by Tarmac Ltd to write a management plan and design monitoring for each of the four areas.
As the four land areas encompass broadleaved woodland, dwarf shrub heath, lichen heath, acid grassland, ponds, lakes and a stream, careful consideration of the management techniques to be employed was required, bearing in mind that bad decisions could damage habitats or key species and waste money. Drafts were produced, discussed and agreed with the Mineral Planning Authority. As well as physical management of wooded areas, the main emphasis is on establishing low-intensity grazing using New Forest ponies. Appropriate monitoring schemes were then defined in order to measure the success of the management against the agreed the objectives for each site. Monitoring methods will differ between the individual sites but will involve fixed point photography, Phase 1 habitat mapping, National Vegetation Classification survey and reptile and breeding bird surveys.
The management plans were approved by Hampshire County Council in 2009 and monitoring commenced in 2010.