Habitat surveys underway to protect wildlife

6 December 2021

In the past few months, our environmental team has been out conducting the first set of bat and badger surveys at the site. These are the first of many that are helping us to build a detailed picture of the wildlife around WMI. All that information will help us keep them safe during construction.

During design and construction, we will work with the local landscape to mitigate, and where possible, enhance the environment. Each phase of the development will be guided by our Ecology Mitigation and Management Plans (EMMP), this guiding plan is based off the animal and plant species surveys we are currently conducting.

Our surveys will provide information on the current ecological status of the site and will inform our environmental strategy during development. In the coming months we will be undertaking the following surveys:

  • Completing general site surveys to understand native plant species
  • Identifying where Great Crested Newt, commonly known as the ‘Warty Newt’ are seen on and around the site
  • Examining trees and buildings to see if they are home to bats. Bats live in a ‘roost’ and most bat species in the UK evolved to roost in trees with others favouring human-made structures. We will be noting the conservation status of any roosts identified
  • Monitoring activity in badger ‘setts’. A ‘sett’ is the tunnel badgers live in and we will be surveying setts to understand which ones are currently in use by badgers and other species.

We are working in line with national and local planning policy, and international and national legislation, to protect hedgerows, habitats, badgers and many other aspects of the natural environment. These surveys will also provide the foundation to plan the two new Country Parks, consisting of 109 acres (44 hectares) in total.

We will keep the local community and interested stakeholders up to date with environmental activity on the site. If you would like to learn more about the project, then please get in touch with the community relations team.