Monitoring and Management
Monitoring & Management Case 1
In order to comply with the requirements of a Section 106 agreement and planning conditions applied to consents for an aggregate quarry in Ringwood Forest, management plans guided by structured monitoring programmes were required for a small stream, hydrologically sensitive flush vegetation, and four areas of land holding heathland, acid grassland, native woodland and wetlands.
Specifications were produced by AEcol for monitoring stream invertebrates, vegetation, scarce plants, and populations of target species including smooth snake, nightjar and woodlark. Mechanisms and objectives were set out, appropriate triggers were defined, and methods designed to measure quantitative and qualitative values within a rolling five-year framework.
The results of monitoring are reported to the MPA and annual meetings are held to review the effects of management and plan for the subsequent year. Site condition is also recorded by annual fixed-point photography.
Preparatory work has thus far included timber felling, scrub clearance and heathland grazing with New Forest ponies, all managed by AEcol on the client’s behalf.
Monitoring & Management Case 2
Following the submission of a Review of Old Mineral Permissions for a major sandpit in Sussex, the operator was required to assess the potential effects on the ecology of a watercourse of a reduction in the consented discharge, which would result from the closing of the pit.
Following an assessment of the physical character of the stream from source to its confluence with a tidal river by the AEcol in-house survey team, the invertebrate fauna was sampled in spring and autumn at a representative series of points by AEcol Associate Dr Martin Drake.
Results were compared with Environment Agency data. BMWP, ASTP and LIFE scores were calculated. It was shown that the stream overall had moderate to high interest but that the section immediately downstream of the discharge was the poorest, possibly as a result of the irregular flow regime, and that cessation of discharge might enable an improvement in its ecological condition.