In 2021, EMEC Ecology conducted an ecological impact assessment for the planned construction of an aerial assault course at The Mill Adventure Base, Sutton-In-Ashfield. This included a suite of ecological surveys, including water vole, reptile and great crested newt eDNA surveys.
EMEC Ecology was commissioned to conduct an Ecological Impact Assessment of land north of Mill Adventure Base, Sutton-In-Ashfield to inform plans for the construction of an aerial assault course and changing facilities. The site comprised grassland, bordered by hedgerows, trees and a ditch and was situated to the east of King’s Mill Reservoir Local Nature Reserve.
EMEC initially conducted a desk study to identify records of protected, notable and invasive species in the vicinity of the site, as well as nearby nature conservation sites and Habitats of Principal Importance. Initial field surveys included a phase 1 habitat survey of the site, preliminary bat roost assessment (PRA) of the trees on and around the site and Habitat Suitability Index (HIS) surveys of ponds with 250 m of the site. Based on the results of the desk study and initial field surveys, a water vole survey of the ditch bordering the site, reptile surveys of the site and great crested newt eDNA surveys of the nearby ponds were then conducted. The reptile and great crested newts surveys found no evidence of these protected species, but the water vole survey found evidence of water vole in part of the neighbouring ditch.
Based on the survey results, appropriate avoidance, mitigation and compensation measures were recommended to allow works to proceed while avoiding negative impacts to protected species and habitats, including avoidance of impacts to the identified water vole habitat and recommendations to avoid any impacts in the form of disturbance or pollution to the neighbouring local nature reserve. Recommendations were also made to enhance the biodiversity value of the habitats on site.
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