Devoran School – Ecological Watching Brief
CEC, on the behalf of Cornwall Council and Interserve, prepared ecological assessments and an Ecological Mitigation Plan for provision of a new primary school in Devoran,Cornwall. Part of the mitigation included watching briefs at important stages of construction to ensure that reasonable effort was made to avoid disturbance to protected species.
Whilst we can advise developers to programme works to avoid particularly sensitive times of the year for wildlife (such as the bird nesting season), sometimes there are other constraints in force that do not allow this. In this case, vegetation had to be cleared in the summer, so the watching brief involved checking vegetation for bird’s nests before clearance.
The project also involved removal of some lengths of Cornish hedge, although this was replaced on a ratio of approximately 2:1. There was concern that reptiles would be present within the hedgebanks, so after vegetation had been cleared, an ecologist was present as the stone-faced earth banks were dismantled with a mini-digger to rescue any reptiles found. During this work, a grass snake was found and moved to a safe place away from construction activity.