Recent Work


Ecological Surveys in the South

 

Working with small developments Sophie organises the ecological surveys required from iniating a Phase 1 Survey to undertaking protected species and advising on mitigation. In 2008 surveys were undertaking across Sussex including Chichester and Worthing and further west in Gloucestershire and Hampshire.


Tunbridge Wells

 

For Wealden District Council, Sophie undertook an ecological assessment of a field near Tunbridge Wells that was of interest for a development. In the 1990's the field had botanical interest supporting unimproved grassland of NVC type MG5 Crested dog's-tail and Common knapweed grassland. A detailed study was undertaken of the composition of the grassland and adjacent scrub and woodland habitat for flora and fauna interest. Maps with wildlife and flora interest highlighted were made to inform ideas put forward for the future management of the field. Recommendations of further survey work and/or habitat translocation were outlined to inform possible mitigation needs of ecology, at the early stages of development design.


High Weald

 

Sophie led a one-day course of wildflower and grass identification for landowners, statutory body employees and conservation advisors. It was held within the beautiful high weald farmland which supported both neutral and acidic grassland and a fantastic wide range of flower species. It is hoped that Sophie will organise a vegetative grass identification course in early Spring 2008, on behalf of the Weald Meadow Initiative . The wildflower course is available as a web-clip on the High Weald Website - www.highweald.org.


Northern Ireland

 

The hills of Northern Ireland are rich in upland habitat which are just at present being designated by the Department of the Environment. Sophie was very pleased to be part of the team surveying the blanket bog and wet heath for floral composition and condition assessment/monitoring. The summer of 2007 was as wet as ever and many days were foggy but we soon ticked off our quadrat points and found many lovely sights including the bog-pool communities with their cushions of sphagnum and flotilla's of sundew species at the pool edges.


Scotland

 

Sophie was part of the Quadrat Scotland team of surveyors on the hills of Ben Lawers (1214m) and the Breadlebane Mountains for monitoring deer and sheep grazing. This conservation area (Ben Lawers SAC) not only supports many nationally rare plants but also Annex 1 European Habitats including freshwater lochs, Salix scrub, Subapline and alpine calcareous grassland and hydrophilious tall herb fringe communities. This latter community tyically appears as a luxuriant green swathe of plants such as roseroot, water avens and wild angelica hanging of rock ledges that are inaccessible to animals and usually humans!

In 2008 site condition monitoring of SSSI's in Arran and Orkney and near Glasgow for SNH offered more upland habitats and improved surveying techniques of tall herb ledges and very windy dry heath!

Vegetation surveys to understand grazing patterns on the island of Rum were also undertaken, enjoying good views of red deer, Rum ponies, wild goats and highland cattle.



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