Our initial site study and ecology report has been completed, reviewed and submitted to the Welsh Government Energy Service, along with our claim for the first payout on the grant. (You can find the document available for download on our documents page.) This is a significant milestone in our project, as the report is needed for our pre-planning application. Through the pre-planning process we’ll learn what else is needed to complete the planning process.
The ecology report is a long, but interesting read, as it details the species resident on the property, as well as those there may be signs of, for which further study is be needed. Several trees in our woodland are likely providing roosting for bats, and the discovery of a single, nibbled hazelnut shell indicates a potential dormouse population.
One thing the report did point out are a few places on the site where Himalayan Balsam has taken root. This invasive, non-native species is more than just a nuisance plant. It can spread quickly and take over a site, choking out native plants and reducing biodiversity. We need take steps to eradicate the invasion now, while the problem is still small, and before the plant sets seed in the late summer.
You’ll spot this plant in a couple of places on the site. It’s growing beside the path, along the northern boundary wall. If you head down the track, towards the old waste treatment facility, there’s a patch of the invader to the right, just as the new path cuts towards the woods.
The plant is an annual, and quite easy to pull up. As you enjoy the summer months in the woodland, be on the look out. If everyone pulls up a few plants each time they’re out walking, we will soon have it eradicated.