Interpretation as part of ecological mitigation strategies
CDI specialise in producing brochures, interpretation boards and digital media assets for planners and developers, where new housing developments require these materials (with respect to SANG sites, public open spaces; and in relation to requirements under the Habitats Regulations).
Being a sister company of Lindsay Carrington Ecological Services means we have an expert understanding of environmental and ecological issues relating to land development. We are especially aware of SANG site regulations and can consult on public access.
Where regulations require interpretation (for example as a condition of development), we can advise clients on the entire process. This includes understanding the specific requirements, producing accurate information, sourcing relevant data and images, as well as actual production and siting of the panels and design of brochures.
Sample process – a new site requiring ecological interpretation
An example of the steps involved in applying ecological appraisal, mitigation and interpretation to a new construction site (CDI tasks in BOLD):
- Source consultants & initial quote
- Conduct phase 1 survey
- Map habitats – assess potential for protected species
- Write initial report & recommend phase 2 surveys for protected species
- Undertake Phase 2 surveys & create additional reports (may feed into design including SANG design)
- Apply for licensing if required
- Brochure & interpretation board design
- Translocate/mitigate (fences/boxes etc.)
- When site is clear, work starts, including SANG creation
- Finish work, publish brochures, install boards, remove fencing
All the above can be managed and delivered by CDI, in conjunction with Lindsay Carrington Ecological Services, meaning that developers and agents can delegate the entire ecological management of their project to a one-stop-shop.
About SANG sites
SANG (or Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace) sites may be stipulated under planning obligations for developments near ecologically sensitive areas, such as Dorset Heaths. The provision of SANG must meet the following standards which have been agreed by Natural England:
- All SANGs with car parks must have a circular walk which starts and finishes at the car park.
- It should be possible to complete a circular walk of 2.3 – 2.5km around the SANG, and for larger SANGs a variety of circular walks.
- Car parks must be easily and safely accessible by car and should be clearly sign posted.
- The accessibility of the site must include access points appropriate for the particular visitor use the SANG is intended to cater for.
- Access points should have signage outlining the layout of the SANG and the routes available to visitors.
- The SANG must have a safe route of access on foot from the nearest car park and / or footpath/s.
- SANGs must be designed so that they are perceived to be safe by users; they must not have trees and scrub covering parts of the walking routes.
- Paths must be easily used and well maintained but most should remain unsurfaced to avoid becoming too urban in feel.
- A majority of paths should be suitable for use in all weathers.
- SANGs must be perceived as semi natural spaces without intrusive artificial structures, except in the immediate vicinity of car parks. Visually sensitive way-markers and some benches are acceptable.
- All SANGs larger than 12ha must aim to provide a variety of habitats for users to experience (e.g. some areas of woodland, scrub, grassland, heathland, wetland, open water).
- Access within the SANG must be largely unrestricted with plenty of space provided where it is possible for dogs to exercise freely and safely off lead.
- SANGs must be free from unpleasant visual, auditory or olfactory intrusions (e.g. derelict buildings, intrusive adjoining buildings, dumped materials, loud intermittent or continuous noise from traffic, industry, flood lighting, sewage treatment works, waste disposal facilities).
- SANGs should be clearly sign-posted or advertised in some way. SANGs should have leaflets and or websites advertising their location to potential users. It would be desirable for leaflets to be distributed to new homes in the area and to be made available at entrance points to car parks.