The Thomson Habitats team, which is part of leading UK ecology consultancy Thomson Ecology, has been awarded the C2a mitigation package for the Central Section of Phase One of the High Speed 2 (HS2) project.
HS2 is a planned high-speed railway which will be the new backbone of the national rail network, linking London, Birmingham, the East Midlands, Leeds and Manchester.
The Area Central section of Phase One is between Uxbridge in London, and Southam in Warwickshire. The ecological works in this area include the construction of 26 mitigation sites. Thomson Habitats has been awarded six of these sites, and three years maintenance until November 2020, to ensure that the sites mature properly.
The aim of the mitigation sites is to create habitat for great crested newts, other amphibians and reptiles, to be moved to, once their translocation from areas along the route takes place.
The six mitigation sites include:
- 31 ponds ranging from 100m2 to 300m2, lined, planted with aquatic plants and the banks grass seeded
- planting of over 26,000 trees
- planting of over 1.3km hedgerow
- installation of fencing, field gates and kissing gates
- soil preparation and seeding of over 13ha grass and wildflower seed
- installation of 24 bat boxes
- construction of 4 reptile egg-laying heaps
- construction of 18 hibernacula and 12 large reptile basking banks
- construction of 4 permanent culverts and a permanent concrete entrance from the main road onto one of the sites.
Many of the sites are situated far from road access, and across some extremely soft ground, therefore almost 4 km of temporary road ‘trackway’ made up of almost 4000 aluminium panels, have been installed to allow plant and equipment access to the site. The construction of these sites is due to be completed in early summer 2018.