The vision is to create a service station which is sustainable, ecologically friendly and will act as an exemplary model for other service stations to aspire to functionally and aesthetically. It should be in keeping with the current surrounding landscape character. The woodland is a vital asset of the site which will be maximised. The existing vegetation character will be retained and improved, whilst mixing in new semi/native species to provide a dynamic range of habitats for wildlife, as well as making the development attractive and user friendly. Vegetation will be used to minimise the impact of the development visually and environmentally.
also a key aspect of the design. Fingers of vegetation at ground level and canopy level will create corridors for fauna. A chain of aesthetic sustainable water management features will help drain the site whilst also creating fingers for semi/aquatic species to move along. Of course the development needs to be friendly to all users. The design is intended to be aesthetically pleasing through the use of vegetation, which will be more formal nearer the visitor centre. The design will offer sensory aspects and there will be many opportunities for people to interact with and learn about the environment.
The new design will support a broad range of flora The site must be sustained for the future by creating and fauna, particularly the target species, priority partnerships with local conservation organisations. and native species. Achieving Local Nature Reserve Status would have a major influence. Raising public awareness and Fragmentation is causing major losses of habitat encouraging community involvement through events locally and nationally; therefore habitat connectivity is and activities may also help maintain the sites value.
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Status: UKBAP, LBAP The common toad was recorded in ecological surveys in 2014, as well as spawn. It is a local priority species and the enhancement of wetland will benefit this species and others.
Status: Species of Principal Importance, LBAP The dingy skipper was observed on the site in 2014 and it is a requirement to provide habitat for this species with a minimum of 0.5ha bird's-foot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus).
The common toad can alter its colour depending on its environment, varying from grey to green to brown. It has warts on its skin which produce toxins. Males grow to around 6cm while females grow to 9cm in length.
The dingy skipper has an intricate brown and grey They are olive green in appearance with a yellow patterned wing but this is lost over time resulting in a The song thrush is around 23cm in length. It is brown and black collar and black bars on the sides of their drab 'dingy' appearance. They have a fast flight and with a cream breast with darker brown spots. It has bodies. They grow to 60-80cm in length. fly close to the ground. an appealing melodic song. The grass snake is commonly found near wetland, Their habitat includes woodland edge and brownfield The song thrush prefers grazed permanent pasture, marshland and dry grassland habitat where there is a sites. They prefer warm, sheltered open spaces of woodland, hedgerows and wet ditches. They nest combination of sunny spaces and shelter. It also uses bare ground for basking and to defend territory and in the cover of low trees, shrubs and thick ground heathland, woodland, farmland, hedgerows and open to await females. The food plants are in sparse short vegetation. Nests consist of twigs, grass, moss, mud, mosaic on previously developed land. sward. The skipper also uses taller plants, particularly deadwood and leaves. They will have two to three those with prominent stems, for shelter and roosting. broods per year with clutches of around three to five Grass snakes gain body warmth from their In late afternoon they roost on dead flowers with their chicks. environment, therefore in the morning they bask in sunny open spaces near open water. They are wings wrapped around the flower head. The song thrush breeding season lasts from March comfortable on land and in water. Since it is too cold The dingy skipper lays eggs individually on leaflets to August. Chicks are fed worms primarily but also in winter, they hibernate in piles of leaf litter, logs of the food plant, commonly bird's-foot trefoil in a slugs, caterpillars, and fruit. The chicks fledge after or rocks between October and April. These reptiles sheltered sunny area. They hatch after around 14 14 days and become independent after three weeks, mate between March and June. Consequently the days and the caterpillar (larva), spins two leaves of although on average only a third of chicks survive to female searches for a nesting site; commonly rotting the food plant together to form a hibernaculum this point. Adult birds are solitary and have a territory vegetation which creates warmth and protects against where it hibernates. It surfaces from hibernation in of 0.2 to 6 hectares. Territory is established in late frost. The females lay around 40 eggs between June April and pupates into a butterfly (imago). Bird's- Autumn. Most birds remain in the UK all year but are and July. Eggs hatch after six to eight weeks. Males foot trefoil is their main food plant and larval plant, sensitive to tough winter weather. They commonly shed their skin twice a year, females just once a year. but they also consume the nectar horseshoe vetch eat earth worms but alternatively in dry weather they They can live for up to 15 years. Grass snakes prey (Hippocrepis comosa), buttercup (Ranunculus spp.) eat snails; undrained land is beneficial for feeding. upon frogs, toads, newts, small mammals and birds, and hawkweed (Hieracium spp.). They live in colonies which it swallows whole. It is predated by badgers and of up to 50 individuals. They are sedentary, meaning foxes. they rarely moving to new grounds.
They are commonly found in woodland and rough grassland but require access to large wetland areas. Wetland drainage is a common threat to them. Common toads are usually nocturnal. They reside in wetlands during breeding, but stay on land for the rest of the time. They feed on small invertebrates, earth worms and snails and hunt by waiting for prey to pass by. Common toads begin to migrate to breeding ponds in Autumn. They hibernate in leaf litter part way through migration and awake in Spring. They breed between March and June and the female releases strings of around 1500 eggs, fertilised by the male. Eggs are wrapped around vegetation. Tadpoles emerge from the eggs and feed on microorganisms. They are predated by species including the diving beetle. Tadpoles metamorphosise after 8-12 weeks and can live for 30 years or more.
Status: UKBAP, LBAP, Local Red Data Book This species was observed on the site during an ecological survey in 2013. It is red listed due to a 50% decline between 1970 and 1995 as a result of degradation of feeding and nesting habitat. Woodland and grassland are crucial to their existence.
PRIORITY SPECIES BUFO BUFO
FLAGSHIP SPECIES ERYNNIS TAGES
HEALING SPECIES TURDUS PHILOMELOS
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Status: UKBAP, LBAP This species was last observed on the site in 1975 but the site has potential to re-introduce them in Smithy Wood as it features a number of suitable habitats for them. It is a good indicator of a healthy ecosystem.
INDICATOR SPECIES NATRIX NATRIX (GRASS SNAKE)
The existing pylon corridor will provide a view line to the visitor centre upon vehicle entry to the site.
As the petrol station roof is less visible, it will be developed into a roof of higher ecological value and less amenity value.
The visitor centre green roof and a living wall will provide the site with an eye-catching focal point which can be viewed from the forecourt. The building will be constructed from local materials where possible. A woodland playground will provide a fun feature for children, encouraging them to explore the site. Equipment will be constructed from felled trees. It will include a treehouse, wobbly bridges and a ropes course.
The forecourt of the visitor centre will be a key social area. It will provide a lively, stimulating outdoor area to sit, eat food from the visitor centre or interact with art and water features.
Sculptural artwork made from deadwood will be a theme which will resonate throughout the site. This will retain a sense of human management throughout the site ensuring people feel comfortable using the site, without interfering with the wildlife. Many of the habitat creations will be innovative and appealing to users, encouraging curiosity and exploration.
The paths will open into vistas at certain points, offering views to the surrounding landscape, accompanied by seating at regular intervals.
Located in the woodland where outdoor activities can be led for visitors or nearby residents. This space could also serve for events or 'Forest Schools'.
OUTDOOR LEARNING AREA
Adjacent to wetland, it will encourage people to gain interest and be educated on wildlife.
Social hubs will be well connected via footpaths. Signage and interpretation boards will inform and educate visitors about the ecological value of the site and encourage them to interact with it and notify them of activities on offer. It may also encourage them to get involved in the conservation of the site.
WOODLAND PICNIC AREA
Available to visitors and residents to use for casual walks or running. It will traverse a variety of vegetation character areas to provide stimulating and pleasing scenery. However footpaths will aim to avoid sensitive habitat areas.
INTERVENTIONS All the vegetation on the site aims to have ecological value; however, nearer the main hub, the visitor centre, the vegetation will additionally have higher amenity value, whilst further away it will be more naturalistic and ecologically focused.
BIODIVERSE SEMIINTENSIVE ROOF
This serves as a quieter, shadier, more naturalistic place to rest or eat during the short woodland trail.
This central feature will provide an aesthetically pleasing walkway with running water, a playful boardwalk and rushy, semi-aquatic vegetation to soften the edges and encourage wildlife.
The key aim of the social strategy is to engage people with the site as much as possible. The social design will radiate from the visitor centre, with smaller social hubs around it, encouraging users to explore the site.
In terms of vehicle circulation, the strategy outlines a one way system. The central road down the car park runs either side of the swale, with options to cross it or to turn into a parking bay. Parking bays are sheltered by existing and proposed trees. As the northern part of the site is more dominated by vehicles, there are less social opportunities, but artwork and views will still provide visual stimulation.
SOCIAL INTERACTION FOOT/CYCLEWAY
The site will be well connected to the wider cycle and footpath network.
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Filter strips around the edges of the roads in the northern area and the car park will also help prevent standing water on the car park will help collect surface runoff.
Water from the biodiverse intensive roof will also provide water for toilets there or stored in an underground storage tank.
A green roof and living wall will help filter water. Any excess water from here or the forecourt can be harvested and stored in an underground tank where it can be used for toilet water, irrigation or selective recreational purposes. A 150mm thick substrate reduces surface runoff by 60%.
On the forecourt, impermeable surfaces will be minimised to reduce surface runoff, by means of a visually attractive retention pond surrounding the visitor centre which will link to the living wall and bioswale to provide connections for wildlife.
BIODIVERSE INTENSIVE ROOF
These will promote informal play and well-being and raise awareness of the visible water cycle and SuDS for all ages being enticing people to hear, touch and see water textures.
It will be an output for grey water from the visitor centre. It will contain rushes including reed mace (Typha latifolia) nearer the visitor centre to help filter the water for wildlife in the wetland and marginal areas. Smaller bioswales will feed into the main central one along vegetated fingers.
Increasing the tree canopy over the car park and in the northern part of the site will increase rainwater interception and evapotranspiration whilst reducing surface runoff.
Two wetland areas will be implemented on the location of two bell pits to act as retention ponds for water, they will be permanently wet, however the marginal land will have the capability to be store water during flood events creating bog and wet woodland which will provide new habitats for flora and fauna. The wetland will have complex edges to accommodate flora and fauna for their whole life cycle and create diverse ecosystems for amphibians, bird, invertebrates, bats and other mammals
WETLAND RETENTION POND
This wetland area will have greater amenity value compared to the other, offering nature watching, bridges, informal play and water access.
WETLAND RETENTION POND
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INTERVENTIONS Any key points which are not labelled on the plan are listed below.
Amenity Value Noise pollution from the motorway may be reduced through the sound of running and trickling water. Biodiversity Value SuDS will provide habitat connection, a bioswale will provide a flowing corridor from the living wall to the first wetland area, whilst temporarily wet woodland will provide a transitional connection from dry to wet.
Water will have high amenity value and a multifunctional purpose. There will be entertaining, relaxing water features such as downpipe disconnections, cascades, reflective qualities, a living wall and rain gardens.
The car park bioswale will offer a fun, audible drainage feature which provides interaction with wildlife and a barrier for vehicles.
The water management strategy intends to mitigate the impact of the development on the natural water cycle and flood risk of the site whilst providing quality water for flora and fauna and aesthetic value for visitors. Water will be managed as close to source as possible and will be achieved using a number of Sustainable urban Drainage Systems (SuDS).
Water Quality Water quality is crucial for flora and fauna. It is important that water output from the development is unpolluted and uncontaminated, even if this wasn't the case when it entered the site. Water Quantity Water quantity must be dealt with for heavy rainfall events. Hence a stormwater chain of SuDS will help harvest or disperse excess rainwater into the wider landscape via infiltration of surface runoff. Road surfacing will be constructed from permeable surfaces either pervious concrete or a modular surface with small gaps to allow infiltration.
Deadwood resources are vital for saproxylic invertebrates (those which live in deadwood). Any trees felled during developement will be reinstated as standing or lying deadwood, or used to create other habitat features.
The W14 beech plantations are less valuable than ancient woodland, so there is potential to 'veteranise' some of these trees to suit species such as bats or saproxylic invertebrates which in turn will feed predator species including the common toad and song thrush.
To compensate for some of the loss of ancient woodland, native trees relevant to W10d, will be planted to create a fuller overall canopy in the future to reduce fragmentation.
Where the understorey is sparse, selected, less mature trees will be coppiced, as has been practiced in the past. This will allow heat and light to reach the forest floor encouraging growth in the field layer of species such as bluebells (Hyacinthoides nonscripta), butterfly species including the dingy skipper and pollinators.
The woodland will have complex ecotones around the edges to maximise the rich flower resource and shrub layer for nesting birds. Rides and glades will also be incorporated.
There are some key principles for the vegetation strategy of this site. The ultimate target is to provide a variety of strongly interconnected habitats using native species to accommodate a broad range of fauna â€“ particularly the target species â€“ and avoid habitat fragmentation and isolation should be avoided where possible.
WIDER CONTEXT As part of the target to interconnect vegetation types, it is important to consider the surrounding vegetation classifications. The fields to the south of the site consist of MG7 grassland; predominantly Rye grass (Lolium perenne) and Timothy (Phleum pretense) and some herbaceous species. Meanwhile to the west, the land is predominantly open mosaic on previously developed land. INTERVENTIONS Most vegetation types on the site have been retained as they already hold ecological value, however other areas have undergone small or large scale changes to benefit biodiversity. The vegetation style will be more formal nearer to the visitor centre; the social 'hub' of the site, and become increasingly naturalistic moving away, until it blends in with the wider landscape.
The vegetation types will form a structured mosaic across the site. They will be connected through varying ecotones, some being gradual and others more sudden to create diversity. Habitat structures including deadwood piles, stone piles and still water and moving water will also link up the vegetation.
One of the most valuable existing vegetation types on the site is rich floral resources. This occurs along woodland edge therefore this will be maximised by retaining the ride along the pylon corridor and creating a more complex woodland edge via the introduction of glades with areas of varying exposure to wind and sun. This will benefit pollinating insects and hence the bat and bird species which prey on them.
To compensate for the loss of ancient and mature trees as a result of the development smaller scale interventions will be made, outlined in the section 'Habitat Creation'.
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KEY The colours on key below correspond to the adjacent vegetation plan. It also shows which of the target species are likely to utilise each vegetation type and which of the vegetation types provide natural connections to each other.
Open mosaic on previously developed land is proposed on the green roof and biodiverse intensive to provide some connection to the wider landscape. It is utilised by a number of invertebrates and could offer a basking area for the dingy skipper.
Islands of lowland heathland line the western edge of the woodland to provide a sunny habitat for the grass snake and other heath loving species such as butterflies. MG5 species-rich grassland will be used on the green roof and the forecourt, taking advantage of this sunny space. It provides an attractive visual display for users and will benefit the dingy skipper, bees (Bombus spp.) pollinating insects which in turn will support bird and bat species. The central bioswale will provide a marshy habitat, structured with rushy and grassy semi-aquatic vegetation including tree species of alder (Alnus glutinosa) and willow (Salix cinerea). This will be a crucial green corridor. Some bare ground including spoil heaps will be allowed to naturally colonise to produce a fuller, more connected field layer, to create niches for bats, nesting and foraging birds including the song thrush and invertebrates including the dingy skipper which roosts on flower heads of tall herbs. some areas will be kept bare however for basking species such as the dingy skipper and grass snake.
Some bare ground will form swamp/marsh habitat to suit amphibious species and invertebrates. It must, however, be managed to avoid over colonisation.
The ponds will have complex margins including varied depth, temporary and permanent pools, as well as vegetated and bare margins for grass snakes. The south side of the ponds will be exposed to allow sunlight to hit the water. This should benefit the common toad during breeding. This pond will consist of still water while the eastern pond will have more flowing water as a result of the bioswale input. This will provide water bodies with different qualities to suit the target species grass snake (Natrix natrix) and common toad (Rufo rufo).
The key vegetation types are listed on the next page, they may include National Vegetation Classification codes (eg. W10d). Some are existing and aim to be retained or enhanced while others are proposed.
MOTORWAY UNDERPASS HABITAT CONNECTION
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Broadleaved Woodland W10d: common oak (Quercus robur), sessile oak (Quercus pertraea), sycamore (Acer
The woodland is predominantly W10d. It will be enhanced, because much of the woodland is ancient or semi-ancient and therefore supports many common and specialist nesting and foraging bird pseudoplatanus) and silver birch (Betula pendula) species, raptors, bat species and invertebrates amongst others. A nationally rare lichen (Fellhanera Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna), and Bramble (Rubus fruticosus). Yorkshire Fog (Holcus lanatus), Creeping Soft Grass (Holcus mollis), bracken (Pteridium aquilinium), viridisorediata) has been recorded in the woodland. ferns (Dryopteris spp., Athyrium felix-femina), bluebells (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) W14: beech (Fagus sylvatica), bramble (Rubus fruticosus). Sparse understorey
W25a: Bracken (Pteridium aquilinum), bramble (Rubus fruticosus) Yorkshire Fog (Holcus lanatus), Creeping Soft Grass (Holcus mollis). Lowland Dry Grassland MG1a/b Rank neutral grassland: False Oat Grass (Arrhenatherum elatius), Cock's-foot (Dactylis glomerata), Couch Grass (Elytrigia repens), Tufted Hair Grass (Deschampsia cespitosa), Yorkshire Fog (Holcus lanatus), Brown Bent (Agrostis capillaris). MG5 Species-rich grassland: Red Fescue (Festuca rubra), Tufted Hair Grass (Deschampsia cespitosa), Yorkshire Fog (Holcus lanatus), Carnation Sedge (Carex flacca). Meadow Pea (Lathyrus pratensis), Knapweed (Centaurea nigra), Crested Dogstail (Cynosurus cristatus), Bird's-foot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus). MG6b: Brown Bent (Agrostis capillaris), Yorkshire Fog (Holcus lanatus), Creeping Soft Grass (Holcus mollis), bracken (Pteridium aquilinium).
Open Mosaic On Previously Developed Land Hedgerows
Sheep's fescue (Festuca ovina), Wavy hair-grass (Deschampsia flexuosa) Mouse-ear hawkweed (Pilosella officinarum), Sheep's sorrel (Rumex acetosella), Meadow buttercup (Ranunculus acris), Oxeye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare).
W25: Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna), Elder (Sambucus nigra), Bramble (Rubus fruticosus) and Blackthorn (Prunus spinose), Nettles (Urtica dioica).
Bare Ground Standing Water/Pond Creeping Bent (Agrostis stolonifera), tufted hair grass (Deschampsia cespitosa), common reed (Proposed) (Phragmites australis). Wet Woodland Common alder (Alnus glutinosa), downy birch (Betula pubescens), grey willow (Salix cinerea), (Proposed) common oak (Quercus robur), common marsh bedstraw (Galium palustre), nettle (Urtica dioica), Sphagnum spp.
Marsh/Swamp Creeping bent (Agrostis stolonifera), tufted hair grass (Deschampsia cespitosa), reed canary (Proposed) grass (Phalaris arundinacea) purple moor grass (Molinia caerulea), rushes including common
reed (Phagmites australis), common marsh bedstraw (Galium palustre), Sphagnum spp., ferns (Dryopteris spp. and Athyrium felix-femina). Lowland Heathland Common heather (Calluna vulgaris), cross leafed heath (Erica tetralix), gorses (Ulex europaeus and (Proposed) Ulex minor). Bristle bent (Agrostis curtisii), purple moor-grass (Molinia caerulea), sheep's fescue (Festuca ovina), wavy hair-grass (Deschampsia flexuosa), bryophytes and lichens.
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Grassland will be enhanced because it is one of the most valuable habitat types on the site, particularly along woodland edge, where it provides flowering plants which support pollinating insects and specialist bird species including the dunnock (Prunella modularis). Acidic grassland is mainly found on spoil heaps. Prickly Sedge (Carex muricata spp lamprocarpa) and broadleaved helleborine (Epipactis helleborine) are locally significant species found in the MG5 community, which could be additional target species. Lowland dry acid grassland may be enhanced through green hay strewing or seeding from the local landscape, where this happens a diversity of grass height is encouraged. At least 0.5ha of short sward in MG5 grassland will be dominated by bird's-foot trefoil, to support the Dingy skipper. This community can be found to the west of the site. It is very beneficial to invertebrates. It also supports skylarks (Alauda arvensis) and could potentially support fieldfare (Turdus pilaris) and redwing (Turdus iliacus). This will be proposed as a more ecologically valuable alternative to fencing used around the perimeter to blend with the surrounding pasture and to enclose spaces nearer the visitor centre. It supports many foraging bird species including the song thrush, insects including the dingy skipper, bats and other small mammals. It could also provide fruits for site visitors to pick. This is found on spoil heaps in the south and under beech plantations. This will be retained as it is of value to the Dingy skipper and other basking species when in sunny open spaces, as well as invertebrates, foraging birds and mammals. This is proposed to provide a new habitat to attract a larger network of species to use the site. It should include marginal rushy vegetation (M23b), with niches and varying water depths and flows to accommodate a range of species including common frog (Rana temporaria) and common toad which breed in wetland, the grass snake and rarer species such as great crested newt (Criturus cristatus). This proposed habitat is nationally scarce in the UK. It would fit in with the existing vegetation, providing a transition between dry woodland and wetland. It will be a seasonal feature, only flooding for part of the year. It would support species of amphibians and invertebrates including common toad. Alder could be coppiced to encourage growth of bryophytes. Lying and standing deadwood would be valuable here as a habitat for bryophytes, lichens, fungi and saproxylic invertebrates. This will form an extension of marginal land around standing water. The soil is quite nutrient rich so is suitable for marsh and swamp. They will be fed predominantly by rainwater and be permanently wet. It would be beneficial in supporting species of rare moss, amphibians and specialist invertebrate species. Connected islands of lowland heath will be developed, particularly along the Western edge of the site to expand on small patches of heather already present; therefore it will fit into the landscape well. It is particularly important for a rare species of money spider; Entelecara congenera which has been observed on site but is nationally scarce. Heather also provides stunning seasonal colour.
LOWLAND DRY GRASSLAND
OPEN MOSAIC ON PREVIOUSLY DEVELOPED LAND
COMMON TOAD (Bufo bufo)
DINGY SKIPPER (Erynnis tages)
SONG THRUSH (Turdus Philomelos)
GRASS SNAKE (Natrix natrix)
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MOUNDS Mounds (resembling spoil heaps) of grassland, bare ground and heathland will provide a sunny, drier environment and burrowing opportunities for small mammals, invertebrates and earthworms, and hence support birds such as the song thrush. Bees (Bombus spp.) and other species which forage year-round benefit from dry grassland.
ARTIFICIAL HABITAT FEATURES Artifical habitat features including bird feeders and bug hotels are located on the roof. Bat and bird boxes are located on the sides of the building.
PLANTING DENSITY The vegetation will be planted at different densities and heights to suit different species, the dingy skipper in particular.
ARTIFICIAL HABITAT FEATURES Log piles and piles of rubble for invertebrates.
CANOPY CONNECTION Shrubs, mainly hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna), will be planted along the east edge of the roof to provide connection to the tree canopy for birds, fledglings especially and invertebrates. It also provides fruit for insects and foraging birds
SHELTER A hollow in the heathland provides a sheltered, damp or temporarily wet area for birds, bats and invertebrates. It is also good for song thrushes to hunt earthworms.
MOSAIC The heathland and acidic grassland are designed in a mosaic which will encourage lichens and bryophytes and also heathland species..
AIM To create a semi-intensive green roof for the visitor centre. It will have a number of functions including habitat creation, stormwater management, building cooling, ecological education, visual appeal, habitat connection and limiting habitat fragmentation. The roof will consist of native and locally appropriate vegetation communities; lowland dry grassland (including MG5) combined with lowland heathland and open mosaic on previously developed land to form a more complex mosaic habitat which supports local biodiversity. It will recreate priority habitats and support priority species. Below is a plan showing the basic layout of the vegetation types. MG5 species-rich grassland will be incorporated into lowland dry neutral grassland as it has a similar pH. Using neutral and acid grassland is better for a sustainable, long-term green roof as they are more resilient in drier, less productive conditions than MG5 grassland on its own.
ILLUSTRATIVE PLAN 1:500
DEADWOOD SCULPTURE SUN EXPOSURE The south side of the roof maximises sunlight. Grassland dominates this side for pollinating insects. There are also shallow patches of bare ground which will heat up quickly to benefit basking species including the dingy skipper, grass snake and song thrush.
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LIVING WALL The green roof is connected to the ground through a green wall and to allow invertebrates, reptiles, amphibians and small mammals to access the roof. This aims to encourages the target species (common toad and grass snake) to use the green roof.
LOWLAND HEATHLAND LOWLAND DRY ACID GRASSLAND LOWLAND NEUTRAL GRASSLAND OPEN MOSAIC ON PREVIOUSLY DEVELOPED LAND
A mosaic of tall and short grassland will encourage visitations from birds such as the swallow (Hirundo rusitca) and bats including common pipistrelle (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) which hunt insects, as well as from ground nesting birds such as the nationally scarce black redstart (Phoenicurus ochruros).
Bird's-foot trefoil, the food and egg laying plant of the dingy skipper, will be present in short sward.
Areas of bare ground will benefit spiders and ground insects such as ants (Myrmica rubra). Some of it will be left for natural colonisation to encourage lichens and ground nesting bees and wasps. It is a favourable place for the dingy skipper to bask.
SOCIAL BENEFITS MANAGEMENT It is important that the green roof has visual appeal The plants should be Irrigated for six to eight to create interest from site users. weeks after planting and occasionally by sprinkler thereafter. No fertilisers will be used to improve the Vegetation will primarily create visual appeal with grassland. This will also avoid water contamination. rich grassland positioned on the most visible parts of Acidity of the substrate can be reduced by placing the roof and striking heather alongside it, meanwhile construction waste including concrete, crushed brick brownfield vegetation is less visible from the ground. and carbonate blocks on the surface.
Lowland Dry Neutral Grassland This will be grown from seed in Sep/Oct using locally harvested seeds and custom seed mixes. It will be cut once a year at around 150mm after flowering, to avoid the sward becoming species-poor. Some Deadwood will be used to create an impressive art areas will be left for structure and for use by birds form which has equal ecological value. and invertebrates. Grasses and herbs will remain on the roof through winter to provide winter structure which will also benefit birds and invertebrates including the dingy skipper.
The roof will be more visible from inside through Lowland Dry Acid Grassland skylights. This will allow users to get closer to the Acid grassland will be grown using seeding and green wildlife and learn more about it. hay strewing methods from local sites. It will be mown once a year to a height of 150mm in late July, with A guided fall arrest system will be installed for the care taken to avoid ground nesting birds. safety of maintenance staff and any others. Lowland Heathland The roof will also provide some noise insulation from This will be managed by rotational cutting. Bare the road and it will help cool the building in warm ground should be checked and cleared regularly. weather, reducing the need for air conditioning. Open Mosaic On Previously Developed Land OMHPDL needs little management, only periodically being managed for dominating or invasive species. Piles of limestone, crushed brick, sand and concrete provide a useful habitat for reptiles and invertebrates and retains soil neutrality.
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Deadwood piles will benefit saproxylic invertebrates specifically, whilst creating shade.
The clifflet provides shade and niches for invertebrates.
Deeper soil is provided for heathland to allow gorse and heather to grow larger, providing a better habitat for insects and nesting birds.
A pipe dug into the soil provides safe shelter for ground nesting birds and their chicks.
Artifical habitats including bird feeders and bug hotels are located on the site. Bat and bird boxes are located on the sides of the building.
SPECIES LIST Lowland Dry Neutral Grassland Common Bent (Agrostis capillaris) Sweet vernal-grass (Anthoxanthum odoratum) Perennial rye-grass (Lolium perenne) Meadow-grasses (Poa spp.) Meadow Foxtail (Alopecurus pratensis) Common Knapweed (Centaurea nigra) Crested Dog's-tail (Cynosurus cristatus) Cock's-foot (Dactylis glomerata) Lady's Bedstraw (Galium verum) Oxeye Daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare) Bird's-foot-trefoil (Lotus corniculatus) Meadow Buttercup (Ranunculus acris) Meadow Fescue (Schedonorus pratensis) Red Clover (Trifolium pretense).
Lowland Dry Acid Grassland Sheep's fescue (Festuca ovina) Common bent (Agrostis capillaris) Bristle bent (Agrostis curisii) Wavy hair-grass (Deschampsia flexuosa) Sand sedge (Carex arenaria) Sheep's sorrel (Rumex acetosella) Heath bedstraw (Galium saxatile) Tormentil (Potentilla erecta) Shepherd's cress (Teesdalia nudicaulis)
DRAINAGE/RESERVOIR RETENTION LAYER
This layer can be engineered or natural. Using local sourced substrate is more sustainable. It should provide oxygen, water and nutrients for plants, be lightweight and porous. More information on this layer is outlined under 'Substrate'. A non-woven geotextile which stops sediment from being washed away and clogging up the drainage layer. It is permeable and allows roots to grow through. Constructed from plastic. It stops the substrate from waterlogging, which would damage the building and the plants. Excess water drains through holes in the layer. Integrated water storage cells retain water for plant support in dry weather. A geotextile blanket 2-12mm thick, it protects the roof deck and waterproof membrane from root damage. It also assists the reservoir layer in retaining water.
This protects the waterproof layer from thermal and UV damage while insulating the building, reducing financial costs to run the building.
ROOF DECK LAYER
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Ling heather (Calluna vulgaris) Bell heather (Erica cinerea) Common gorse (Ulex europeaus) Dwarf gorse (Ulex minor) Bristle bent (Agrostis curtisii) Purple moor-grass (Molinia caerulea) Sheep's fescue (Festuca ovina) Wavy hair-grass (Deschampsia flexuosa)
PROTECTION AND MOISTURE RETENTION LAYER
Lowland Heathland Varying height and structured ericaceous layer. Over 25% dwarf shrub cover. Mosaic with bare ground and lowland dry acid grassland.
Open Mosaic On Previously Developed Land Sheep's fescue (Festuca ovina) Wavy hair-grass (Deschampsia flexuosa) Mouse-ear hawkweed (Pilosella officinarum) Sheep's sorrel (Rumex acetosella) Flatweed (Hypochaeris radicata) Common centaury (Centaurium erythraea) Common knapweed (Centaurea nigra) Meadow buttercup (Ranunculus acris) Red clover (Trifolium pratense) Hare's-foot clover (Trifolium arvense) Oxeye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare) Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) Ragwort (Jacobaea vulgaris) Spear thistle (Cirsuim vulgare) Hawkbit (Leontondon hispidus) Wild teasel (Dipsacus fullonum)
This layer will be a single ply rolled sheet of PVC. It is root resistant meaning a root protection layer isn't necessarily needed. Constructed from concrete as it is strong and doesn't degrade as quickly as wood.
TARGET SPECIES The dingy skipper is provided with bare ground for basking, short sward with plants for food and egg laying. There is also taller sward for roosting and shrubs for shelter. Shrubs and thick vegetation provide nesting locations for birds. Sward and bare ground provide nesting material and damp bare ground offers places to hunt insects and earthworms. Realistically, grass snakes are unlikely to use the green roof but basking areas are provided, they could nest or hibernate in the log piles, and habitat is provided for their prey species. Rough grassland in proximity to wetland encourages common toads to use the roof and sheltered areas offer places for them to await prey. SUBSTRATE The maximum substrate depth for the roof is 250mm. The soil will have an average depth of 100mm but will range to 250mm on peaks and 50mm in hollows. Deeper substrates result in more diversity and better drought resistance. Variance in substrate topography creates niches for invertebrates and wind protection for flora and fauna. Some soil will be sourced from the site, particularly spoil heaps as this is more sustainable and beneficial for invertebrates. However this can disrupt microbial flora and change the substrate's characteristics. Therefore some soil will also be sourced from specialists, this will provide some variety and hence vegetation diversity. All the soil mixes will contain organic matter. Nutrient-poor soil encourages species-rich growth. Grasses and herbs have an optimum soil depth of 100-350mm while shrubs have an optimum of 150-500mm. During construction compaction of soil should be avoided and it should be applied when damp to add weight. pH Drainage Nutrients Consistency Phosphorous Nitrogen Topsoil Depth Organic Matter Notes
Sandy Gravelly Spoil
Like dry, damp or wet conditions
Use grassland substrates but allow disturbance
The bioswale will carry and store excess water from the green roof to the wetland areas, simultaneously draining the car park and filtering the water along its course. Smaller swales will flow into it. It will also provide valuable habitat and a connection for flora and fauna as well as providing amenity value and a pathway for visitors.
The base of the swale will be densely planted to function for filtering and infiltration. Where there are crossings points in the main swale, PVC pipes will be put in place to allow water to flow through.
NATIVE TREES REGULATIONS DESIGN The swale must adhere to a number of key regulations. Because the land accommodating the swale will for success and safety: be relatively flat, a wet swale has been selected for biodiversity and amenity value. If the soil is too free The width of the swale at the base should be 0.5-2 draining an impermeable liner can be implemented metres. under the soil to retain water in the swale. The base The swale should slope between 0.5% and 6% along of the swale will be permanently wet and will be its length. vegetated with wetland species while the sides will The sides of the swale should have as shallow a slope be vegetated with grass and herb species. as possible to assist filtering. The maximum gradient is 33%. Water will drain from the car park into the central The recommended depth of swales is up to 600mm swale and smaller swales along the green fingers. but it can be deeper if permitted. These will be connected to the main swale by The swale should be able to convey water in storm culverts under the road for water management and events. to provide wildlife connections across the car park. Culverts should be at least 5 metres apart for Metal grids will be fixed above the culverts to allow management. light in for vegetation to grow. Vegetation should retain a height of 75-150mm to avoid flattening from water flow. The swale is narrow enough for there to be A minimum of 150mm of water should stay in the adequate flow for water treatment to take place. swale to protect the vegetation from erosive flow. The water will be filtered of pollutants (such as soils The surface area and runoff rate of the car park metals and nutrients) by vegetation uptake and should be checked and some dimensions of the swale by sedimentation in the swale. Underlying soil will may need to be altered as a result. filter smaller particles. Ground excavated for the swale may be used as substrate on the green roof if suitable.
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VEHICLE CROSSING POINT
SUDS FEATURE: BIOSWALE
DESIGN FOR BIODIVERSITY The swale will predominantly be planted with grasses and herbs from the lowland neutral grassland community. Species used will suit the local vegetation character of the site. The planting must be diverse to survive in wet and dry conditions. Fine grasses such as perennial rye-grass (Lolium perenne) and fescues (Festuca spp.) are suitable for this. Longer grass and wildflowers will dominate the drier slopes. The vegetation in the swale needs sunlight, so only three trees will be planted along its course with the function of connecting the canopy across the car park.
DESIGN FOR AMENITY Gentle bends in the swale will provide an attractive 'wave' form through the car park. This will also slow water flow. A wide boardwalk will be the main access route from the car park to the visitor centre. It will be raised above the swale with raised edges for safety but will allow people to get closer to nature. The sound and visual appeal will also promote well-being. Interpretation boards will be provided near the visitor centre to inform people of the function of the swale and what wildlife it supports.
MANAGEMENT Wetland soil will be put in the base of the swale and The bioswale will require regular maintenance and natural colonisation will be allowed. A number of must be accessible for inspection and management. emergent plant species will also be planted, some may adapt better than others. The slopes will be seeded. Monthly management tasks will include inspection of This will be carried out in early summer to allow them inlets, infiltration, sedimentation and vegetation cover to establish. Run off will be blocked until plants are and the clearing of litter and debris. Mowing is not established. The planting should be salt tolerant as required in wet swales but if it is carried out grassland grit in the winter period can make soil more saline. should be cut to a height of 75-150mm. Vegetation becoming too dense and dieback should be thinned In relation to the target species, the swale will serve as and removed in Autumn. Vegetation must not be a connecting green corridor and provide habitat for fertilised as this can contaminate the water for other grass snakes and common toads. It will also provide flora and fauna. Banks may need to be reseeded nesting material and hunting habitat for the song if erosion is a problem. Excess sediment should be thrush and varying heights of sward for the dingy removed as required to stop culverts getting blocked. skipper to pollinate and roost. It will also support aquatic and semi-aquatic species, invertebrates including pollinators as well as other birds and bats.
This flowchart shows inputs processes and outputs of SuDS features used to manage water on the site.
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There will be a 50mm drop from the road to the soft surface to allow water to flow off the road into the swale. The soft edges and lack of a kerb will give the swale a more naturalistic feel.
Culverts and vegetation will slow the flow rate of water and allow it to accumulate in the swale and infiltrate into the soil. There will be three culverts along the course of the swale.
SUDS FEATURE: BIOSWALE
DEADWOOD Existing and new lying and standing deadwood will provide habitat for a range of funghi, mosses (Sphagnum species will be a target) and saproxylic invertebrates including beetles (Coleoptera spp.), spiders (Aranae spp.), flies (Diptera spp.) and hymenoptera spp.. This will also provide food for the song thrush and common toad.
This section shows an example of an area of vegetation. It is a transitional space from woodland into standing water including grassland, swamp, marsh and grassland. Key species for each habitat can be found in the table on page 8. While some areas of vegetation on the site are designed for amenity value, this area will be primarily designed for the benefits of biodiversity. The pond is located in a currently bare area of land where woodland edge is already present so that intervention is minimal. DESIGN The swamp area contains woody plants and deadwood. Shrubs such as brambles provide foraging for song thrushes and other birds.
SHADED WATER Occasional shrubs or trees will provide shaded areas of water. Whereas over half of the water will be in sunlight.
STRUCTURAL DIVERSITY The grassland will contain a mosaic of dense and sparse, tall and short vegetation in swards and on marginal areas to maximise structural diversity.
The transition from wet woodland through swamp and grassland provides a gradual ecotone. It provides full shade for species such as ferns, partial shade and full sun for basking species including the target species grass snake and dingy skipper. The standing water will have varied marginal vegetation including neutral grassland species and semi-aquatic species. Some areas will have tall dense grasses and semi aquatic plants, other areas will have shorter sward and bare ground. This will provide a diversity of habitats for bat species, insects including dragonflies, damselflies and bees. The water will have varied depths reaching up to 4 metres for species to hibernate over winter. The wetland edge will have a variety of topographical features including steep and shallow banks, mounds and terraces to form permanently wet, temporarily wet and dry features.
WETLAND DIVERSITY There will be vegetated and bare small islands in the water and shallow areas of water for pond skaters, snails and water beetles. This variety of wetland habitats will all provide hunting and resting habitat for grass snakes.
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SPECIFIC VEGETATION DESIGN
COPPICING Existing willow and hazel will be coppiced to provide nesting opportunities for song thrushes and other birds. This also allows light through the canopy to encourage ground flora and to benefit dormice (Muscardinus avellanarius) and butterflies including the dingy skipper. encourages rot holes for saproxylic invertebrates.
MANAGEMENT The initial structure and planting of the area will be carried out in the first phase, subsequently natural colonisation will be allowed to develop the area and perhaps create unplanned habitats. After a few years, when the vegetation is well established, a second phase may be carried out to fine-tune the habitat including creation of niches and re-profiling marginal spaces.
TOPOGRAPHY The swamp will have slightly excavated and varied topography to allow rainwater to collect. It will provide softer ground for song thrushes to forage for earthworms and shady niches for the common toad to hunt in. DENSER VEGETATION Denser, tall vegetation provides roosting habitat for the dingy skipper and deters wildfowl which may predate amphibians which the wetland is aimed at, the common toad in particular.
Since the area is aimed to be as naturalistic as possible, management will be relatively low. Bare ground should be kept clear although some natural colonisation will be allowed. In woodland and wet woodland, piles of decaying vegetation and leaf litter will be left for grass snakes to use as nests. Wet woodland and swamp will occasionally require inspection for invasive or dominating species which may need to be cleared. Grassland and standing water will require more maintenance. Grassland may be cut once a year to around 150mm after flowering, to avoid the sward becoming species-poor. In the interest of birds and invertebrates, some areas will be left for structure and shade.
SHORT SWARD Shorter sward will assist the dingy skipper for breeding and foraging.
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Management of standing water should occur around October and no later, so as not to avoid hibernating species. Fertilisers will not be used as this can make water species-rich, encouraging growth of algae species. Algae should be cleared from the surface occasionally, but not completely. When cleared it can be left on the edge for species to return to the water.
SPECIFIC VEGETATION DESIGN
The largest habitat structure is on the visitor centre. It is a series of 'living walls' whose key functions are to provide connections to the green roof and various habitats whilst being appealing to visitors. There will be five living walls connected to the supporting structures planned for the building. Three will be predominantly grassland, but this section will focus on the other two walls which will be structures designed to benefit invertebrates. DESIGN FOR BIODIVERSITY The walls will have high amounts of deadwood to appeal to saproxylic invertebrates - a major asset of the site, considered to be of at least regional value.
Logs will be cut to different heights and there will be a mix of lying and standing logs. Partial ring barking (stripping pieces of bark from the wood) is of value to invertebrates. Holes will be drilled into them to provide niches for hibernating invertebrates such as bees.
A series of plant pots. Some will be planted with grasses and some will act as 'bug hotels', filled with cut bamboo, sticks, tiles and sediment including sand and soil.
Some areas will be planted in shallow substrate with grassland species to encourage pollinators. Planting is located at the bottom as the substrate may become heavy.
Screened building rubble such as bricks, crates and blocks. These will also aid species in climbing up the steeper parts of the wall.
Features will be made of reused material where possible, including trees felled for development and old bricks. Features on the site will create shade, moisture, food and niches for invertebrates and amphibians. Which will in turn provide food for species higher in the food chain such as bats, birds and lizards. The wall is curved, so there will be a diversity of niches, some with more shade than others. Since the wall is south-facing it will attract sun loving species for basking and pollinating. The wall will be allowed to naturally colonise, aiming to encourage bryophytes including ferns, as well as lichens, mosses and funghi.
Common Toad: The adjacent pond will offer a breeding habitat and the connective wall will provide prey for toads to hunt, as well as shady, moist areas to rest. Dingy Skipper: The wall will provide grassland with taller plants for roosting and sunny surfaces to bask on. Some food plants (Bird's-foot trefoil) may also be available. Song Thrush: The wall will provide habitat for their prey; snails and worms. It will also provide grasses and mosses for nesting material. Grass Snake: Although the habitat is probably too small for grass snakes, it offers wetland and shade for them.
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ARTWORK HABITATS A series of variations of standing deadwood art structures will be located around the site to add a sense of human intervention to the site for users. A metal model of a target species will sit on each structure to help people to recognise the target species of the site. The structures will be made from felled trees during the construction process. The largest of these structures will be on the corner of the visitor centre green roof and will be visible from the forecourt. It will have the flagship species; the
IRRIGATION The wall will receive a constrained amount of water from the green roof through drip holes from the drainage layer in the green roof to encourage plant growth.
CONNECTION The wall is connected to the ground where it also offers a transition into water with piles of rocks where semi-aqautic species may colonise. The proximity to water aims to encourage amphibians to use the walls and the green roof.
dingy skipper on its top. The deadwood structures will have holes drilled into them and bug hotels installed for invertebrates and plants such as ferns to grow. Partial ring barking will be carried out on them to enable saproxylic invertebrates to crawl under the bark. Inside the structures it will be shaded and sheltered from the wind, and on protruding offshoots of the logs, bird feeders or even bird and bat boxes may be hung or fixed.
HANGING BIRD FEEDERS
DESIGN FOR AMENITY The wall should form a colourful and textured patchwork which is appealing to the eye. It will also encourage people to get closer and engage with wildlife and learn more about its function and the species using it. Community involvement could be encouraged on parts of the wall such as bug hotels, which visitors or the local community could make. MANAGEMENT The wall will require relatively little management. The structure will be need to be inspected for loose components occasionally and any weeds or over dominant species may need to be removed.
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RING BARKING BUG HOTELS
Pages 3 9 10 11 12 14 17 Arkive (n.k.) Song thrush Turdus Philomelos [Online]. Available from: www.arkive.org/song-thrush/turdus-philomelos/ [Accessed 31/01/2016]
Sheffield Local Biodiversity Action Partnership (2011) Grassland Habitat Action Plan [Online] Available from: www.sheffield.gov. uk/out--about/parks-woodlands--countryside/ecology-unit/biodiversity-conservation-in-sheffield/sheffield-local-biodiversity-action-plan.html [Accessed 31/01/2016]
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Arkive (n.k.) Common Toad [Online]. Available from: www.arkive.org/common-toad/bufo-bufo/ [Accessed 31/01/2016] Cheshire, S. (n.k.) Dingy Skipper [Online]. Available from: www.britishbutterflies.co.uk/species-info.asp?vernacular=Dingy+Skipper [Accessed 31/01/2016]
Sheffield Local Biodiversity Action Partnership (2012) Wetland Habitat Action Plan [Online] Available from: www.sheffield.gov. uk/out--about/parks-woodlands--countryside/ecology-unit/biodiversity-conservation-in-sheffield/sheffield-local-biodiversity-action-plan.html [Accessed 31/01/2016]
Eeles, P. (n.k.) Dingy Skipper [Online]. Available from: www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/species.php?species=tages [Accessed 31/01/2016] Freshwater Habitats Trust (n.k.) Grass Snake [Online]. Available from: freshwaterhabitats.org.uk/habitats/pond/identifying-creatures-pond/grass-snake-natrix-natrix/ [Accessed 31/01/2016] RSPB (n.k.) Song Thrush [Online]. Available from: www.rspb.org.uk/discoverandenjoynature/discoverandlearn/birdguide/name/s/ songthrush/index.aspx [Accessed 31/01/2016]
Sheffield Local Biodiversity Action Partnership (2011) Woodland Habitat Action Plan [Online] Available from: www.sheffield.gov. uk/out--about/parks-woodlands--countryside/ecology-unit/biodiversity-conservation-in-sheffield/sheffield-local-biodiversity-action-plan.html [Accessed 31/01/2016]
The Wildlife Trust (n.k.) Grass Snake [Online]. Available from: www.wildlifetrusts.org/species/grass-snake [Accessed 31/01/2016]
Pages 10 11 12 Dunnett, N. P. (2006) Green roofs for biodiversity: reconciling aesthetics with ecology. p. 221-236. In Proc. of 4th North American Green Roof Conference: Greening Rooftops for Sustainable Communities, Boston, MA. May 2006. The Cardinal Group, Toronto Snodgrass E. & Snodgrass L. (2006) Green Roof Plants Timber Press. Portland
Wainwright, D. Ellis, S. (n.k.) Dingy Skipper Fact Sheet [Online]. Available from: butterfly-conservation.org/files/dingy-skipper-psf. pdf [Accessed 31/01/2016]
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Pages 8 10 Natural England (2013) National Vegetation Classification: MG5 grassland. [Online]. Available from: publications.naturalengland. org.uk/file/6496007 [Accessed 30/01/2016] Pages 10 11 12 DEFRA (2011) UK Biodiversity Action Plan Priority Habitat Descriptions [Online]. Available from: jncc.defra.gov.uk/PDF/UKBAP_PriorityHabitatDesc-Rev2011.pdf [Accessed 30/01/2016] Pages 8 10 11 12 Brian, H. Doick, K. (2014) Forest Research â€“ Lowland Acid Grassland: Creation and management in land regeneration [Online]. Available from: www.forestry.gov.uk/pdf/LRU_BPG16.pdf/$FILE/LRU_BPG16.pdf [Accessed 30/01/2016] Bug Life (n.k.) Lowland heathland. [Online]. Available from: www.buglife.org.uk/advice-and-publications/advice-on-managing-bap-habitats/lowland-heathland [Accessed 30/01/2016] DEFRA (2010) Open Mosaic Habitats on Previously Developed Land [Online]. Available from: jncc.defra.gov.uk/pdf/UKBAP_ BAPHabitats-40-OMH-2010.pdf [Accessed 31/01/2016] English Nature (2002) Lowland Heathland: A Cultural and Endangered Landscape. [Online] Available from: publications.naturalengland.org.uk/file/111041 [Accessed 30/01/2016] Harris, P., Brearley, A. & Brian, H. Doick, K. (2014) Forest Research â€“ Lowland Neutral Grassland: Creation and management in land regeneration [Online]. Available from: www.forestry.gov.uk/pdf/BPG_17.pdf/$FILE/BPG_17.pdf [Accessed 30/01/2016] Scottish Natural Heritage (n.k.) Open Mosaic Habitats On Previously Developed Land (UK Bap Priority Habitat) [Online]. Available from: www.snh.gov.uk/docs/A1509898.pdf [Accessed 31/01/2016]
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