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Turnpike field Ecological Survey

4th August 2019 @ 6:06am – by Steve Elliott
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Turnpike Field- Ecological Survey

This professional ecological survey was recently conducted by Cheshire Wildlife Trust. Soil samples were taken confirming that the field is suitable for wildlife habitat creation. Some of the recommendations and advice given by the wildlife expert were:

  • Cut down saplings by the stream to open up the area and encourage wildlife inhabitancy;
  • Plant more trees so they can grow in time to replace oak trees when these die. The Woodland Trust may help with planting new oak trees and other British tree specimens to encourage wildlife;
  • Himalayan Balsam removal ' no issues with hand pulling it but it can also be strimmed. The best time to do it would be end of July/August.
  • Installation of bird & bat boxes recommended dotted around the field;
  • Wildflower meadow would work if placed by the stream. This would be very compatible with the plans for the green car park and picnic locations at the top (village) end of the field.
  • They also suggested having a 20 ft x 20 ft pond close to the stream;Presence of voles ' the expert found one-star shaped foot print which means there might be water voles and confirmed they thought there were definitely bank voles.

In addition, a large list of the many species identified has been provided.'Once the survey had been completed, a local farmer was then able to flail the top field and clear some of the footpaths- additional strimming of the footpath, particularly down through the boggy bit towards Grey''s Bridge, was done by Stephen Hopkins and and Neil Goodyear.

It is recommended that similar surveys are carried out at different times of the year so as to build up better knowledge of the seasonal variations that exist. Volunteers with AWEG have stepped up to the mark to help with this so as to keep the costs down.

The full report can be found here and the Species List here


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