Habitat is “The natural home or environment of an animal, plant, or other organism”. Here at EcoCon we recognise that everything should have a place to call home!
We believe that there’s a place for everything and everything in its place. We recognise the importance of that statement. That’s why we take the creation, improvement, restoration and management of habitats seriously.
Our habitat services
Many of our most sensitive habitats enjoy enhanced protection in law by virtue of various designations. However all habitat is likely to have some merit to wildlife albeit of varying degrees. It is vitally important that if quality is not to be compromised, prior to any action being taken that could potentially cause damage or change, a comprehensive assessment should be carried out by a professional ecologist. For our clients who are not ecologists and have not already engaged the services of a consultancy we are happy to provide recommendations to consultancies and practices who we regularly work with and feel would best serve our client’s needs.
EcoCon deliver a wide variety of habitat projects with equally varied project objectives. By working with some of the finest experts in their fields, with careful planning and attention to detail from the outset we can increase conservation value, create and provide suitable habitats for specific species from invertebrates or amphibians to birds and mammals or increase general biodiversity through the creation of mosaic habitats.
All seed mixes, plants, shrubs and trees used in our planting schemes from wildflower meadow to hedges, shelter-belts to beetle banks are all native and responsibly sourced and are of the highest quality.
Our team and our partners can implement restorative processes to bring habitats back into a more favourable status and suggest novel and innovative methods to achieve this. As a company we are continuously scoping for new technologies and techniques that we can deploy in the field, whilst never losing site of the fact that some tasks will always just require good old fashioned hard graft!
Invasive weed and plant control
Management of Invasive Species – “Thousands of species of plants and animals have been introduced to the UK and many now form part of ecosystems without causing significant harm.
‘Invasive’ species are those which are well-suited to conditions in the UK and, having few or no control mechanisms, spread rapidly and cause economic, social or ecological problems in many locations”.
After climate change, invasive non-native species have been identified as one of the biggest threats to bio-diversity the planet faces. This coupled with an annual cost to the UK economy that is estimated to be in excess of £160 million has placed the control of such species as Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica) and Himalayan Balsam (Impatiens glandulifera) firmly at the front of the minds of both legislators and those charged with the management of the environment. To learn more about government guidelines on harmful invasive plants, click here Link
As well as invasive non-natives at EcoCon we offer our clients a comprehensive range of management techniques to control and eradicate invasive native plants which may be out competing other species and dominating a landscape, species such as gorse, bracken and broom being classic examples.
When looking to control any invasive plant, it is essential to select the appropriate control technique for that species and the environment they are occurring in to avoid wasting time, resources and money, as well as potentially making the situation worse in some circumstances.
EcoCon will be happy to discuss your needs and carry out a site appraisal before suggesting the most appropriate control or eradication methods to achieve site remediation. These range from herbicide application, either foliar or stem injection to mechanical dig and bury or dig and dump. Many eradication programmes can be implemented in a relatively short period of time. Others may require a more long term commitment with a detailed management plan to facilitate prioritisation and monitoring.
Some but not all of the plants that we can help you with appear below.
- Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica)
- Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera)
- Rhododendron (Rhododendron ponticum)
- Giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum)
As well as selective control of specific species, we also offer de-vegetation for various projects and a vegetative site clearance service, often an initial stage of a development project.
EcoCon also offer phased clearances to assist in the delivery of mitigation works and destructive searches and associated services such as species translocation with or without EcoCon supplying ecologist supervision according to our clients’ needs and wishes. We can usually assist with the identification of suitable receptor sites for protected species and can carry out works to create or enhance the suitability of such sites for this purpose if desirable.
All vegetative site clearance work is carried out with the utmost sensitivity and strict adherence to the ecological constraints that have been identified for example the breeding bird season or the presence of invasive non-native plants and only the most appropriate tools, plant and methods for the task will be employed. Our clients can be confident that throughout contract delivery legislative and best practice compliance is our priority.
EcoCon have a proven track record of working successfully alongside national ecological consultancies on development sites to sensitively remove cover and habitat to facilitate the trapping and removal of protected species.
Hibernacula and refugia
A hibernaculum plural form: hibernacula (Latin, “tent for winter quarters”) is a place of abode in which a creature seeks refuge.
Many creatures ranging from insects to reptiles and amphibians will make use of artificial hibernacula if they are positioned and constructed correctly. These installations can be used to replace naturally occurring hibernation habitat, lost during construction or land management works, or to bolster existing hibernation opportunities for certain species across sites where desirable.
EcoCon can advise on and construct an array of hibernacula for the full range of species likely to make use of these structures. It is often possible to utilise materials already on site in some or all of their construction and therefore savings can sometimes be made and passed on.
In recent years the conservation status of the European otter (Lutra lutra) has enjoyed something of a resurgence on many of our inland waterways including in many of our major towns and cities. Otters are a European protected species (EPS). Inevitably with the welcome increase in otter numbers has come increased potential to fall fowl of the law, protected species surveys will identify the presence of otter and allow for protective/mitigating measures to be put in place prior to any disturbing actions taking place, this is something that we are happy to offer our clients, so please contact us if you would like to arrange a survey.
Many landowners and conservation organisations are happy to welcome the return of the otter onto their “Patch” and one great way of encouraging their return is through the provision of Holts to breed and rest- up in. EcoCon supply and install a variety of artificial Holts for otters including ones made from durable recycled material as well as natural materials.
EcoCon supply and erect several types of bat box depending on your organisations requirements.
EcoCon supply and erect several types of bird (Including owl and kestrel) box depending on your organisations requirements.
Providing suitable nesting sites for birds is a great way to encourage and increase bird numbers on land. Many farm management plans under the HLS (Higher level stewardship scheme) now contain recommendations for their provision.
EcoCon are one of only a very few specialist companies in the UK who have the knowledge, skills and licensing to offer our clients services for the live capture, immobilisation and restraint of wild and captive animals.
These services are available for a wide range of applications, ranging from disease control, the prevention of suffering and the provision of veterinary care to research programmes and the fitting of telemetry. Of potential interest to researchers and wildlife managers is the ability to remotely collect by use of specialist darts tissue samples allowing DNA and biopsy analysis. In addition to the aforementioned applications wildlife rescue centres as well as emergency services may also wish to engage our services.
The services we offer also have great potential within commercial operations. They are particularly appropriate for deer as well as a range of farmed and exotic species in wildlife parks. They can be applied to de-antlering operations and for the live transportation of animals as well as drug administration.
We offer an emergency response facility by arrangement, where operatives with the necessary veterinary skills and appropriate certification can be called upon to implement an immobilisation plan.
As our clients you may rest assured that all tasks of this nature will only be carried out by highly trained and skilled operators, some of whom are vets. As you would expect with contracts of this nature animal welfare as well as animal and human safety are our priorities. High levels of training and strict operational protocols allow us to offer a professional bespoke service to interested parties.
If you would like to discuss in further detail how we could assist you, then please contact us using the contact form.