RammSanderson Ecology Ltd was commissioned by Worcestershire County Council to undertake aerial surveys of trees along the banks of the River Severn for their proposal to construct a cycle path.
Worcestershire County Council had earmarked £4m of investment for the design and construction of a pedestrian/cycling bridge between Kepax and Gheluvelt Park just outside Worcester city centre in order to reduce congestion, improve health and well-being and to improve the environment.
Working closely with the Council ecologist the species and condition of trees requiring further assessment had been identified. Using the detail provided within this initial assessment we were able to consider the trees further in order to gain an understanding of the wildlife living in the trees and adjacent habitats.
The assessment was required considering the health and condition of trees so that any potential health and safety risks to cyclists using the path could be assessed and avoided.
Our Aerial climbing team are trained to CS38 standard for tree climbing and aerial rescue. Using specific safety equipment and appropriate technology we are able to inspect features up close that are often difficult to assess conclusively from ground level. This can provide greater detail on tree health but also allows us consider the suitability of features for legally protected species such as bats.
On this particular project we:
- Surveyed the identified trees and any other suitable trees in the proposed area.
- Carried out ground level tree assessment of the trees within the identified area.
- Assess the safety of climbing the trees in the area.
- Assess the features on each tree through assessing the features aerially to identify suitable roosting features for bats and grade accordingly.
Following the survey, a report was provided to Worcester County Council outlining what additional surveys were required in order to assess the trees in greater depth.
These recommendations included further aerial assessments of other trees as well as nocturnal emergence and re-entry surveys to further understand the wildlife using the trees as a habitat.
Our approach was undertaken pragmatically allowing the client to undertake an appropriate assessment and carry out the project within their budget.
Throughout the project RammSanderson maintained continual communication between our surveyors and council officials to ensure they could be informed of any unforeseen issues as soon as possible.
RammSanderson produced a very good report. I liked the layout very much, it made the key findings easy to access and interpret. It was a pleasure working with Gareth; self-sufficient subcontractors with excellent communication skills make my job so much easier!
Laura Wood MCIEEM, Senior Ecologist, Directorate of Economy & Infrastructure, Worcestershire County Council