Protecting Newt Habitats during Construction & Development
The great crested newt (Triturus cristatus) is the largest of Britain’s three newt species and can be identified by its dark brown warty skin and bright yellow-orange belly with irregular blotches. The males also have a jagged crest along the centre of the back and tail.
Breeding takes place in ponds, although a large part of their lifespan is spent in terrestrial habitats where they may wander as far as a kilometre from a breeding pond. Great crested newt populations often depend on having a network of ponds close together and interlinked by suitable terrestrial habitat. They are most frequently recorded in medium-sized ponds that are well vegetated but not heavily shaded. Occasional drying out is not a barrier to newt breeding and prevents colonisation by fish. The preferred terrestrial habitat is unimproved grassland, scrub and woodland.
The British population of great crested newts is one of the largest in Europe. However, due to enormous declines in their range and abundance in the last century, this species of newt is strictly protected by British and European law. They are protected under both the Wildlife and Countryside Act and the Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations. It is an offence to intentionally or (in England and Wales) recklessly kill, injure or capture great crested newts or obstruct access to, damage or destroy the resting places used by these animals. This law refers to all great crested newt life stages, including eggs.
During a construction project, it is therefore necessary to ensure that developers and construction teams have a mechanism to minimise disturbance on resident wildlife populations and take appropriate action to ensure newts do not enter the site, or that they are collected from the site and moved to suitable habitat (under licence) where they will not be endangered.
The installation of ecological fencing can provide a suitable barrier to either keep great crested newts off a development site, form an enclosure from which they can be collected prior to any ground works, or be used to enclose a receptor area whilst breeding populations and habitat are established.
Why 100% recycled ecological fencing is the developer’s choice
The level of mitigation and compensation required is dependent on the size of the population associated either with breeding ponds or their terrestrial habitat on or within close proximity to the site. Mitigation will usually range from adapting working methods to the installation of temporary amphibian fencing and pitfall traps. The amount of fencing and the length of time it needs to be in place will depend on the population size and distance from the nearest active pond.
Ecological fencing is typically utilised as a key element of a plan to manage protected species on a proposed development site. A developer may be required to undertake habitat surveys and/or extended protected species surveys in order to establish the habitat potential of a particular location. Specialised ecological fencing is used as part of a mitigation proposal to manage a protected species population. This may well be for newts, but could also include snakes, water vole or other reptiles.
Centriforce utilises its extensive experience in recycled plastic sourcing, procurement, design and processing to meet client needs by providing a specialist ecological fencing range. Our product is proven in use in many projects, both within the UK and internationally, where it demonstrates its durability in demanding environments and yet is completely manufactured from recycled polymers which can then be recycled again at the end of the project life.
Our eco-fencing will help ensure protected species are carefully managed on a development site so that the species can be removed, relocated from the construction site to allow the development to take place and then finally re-homed in an appropriate environment – either back on site or in an alternative location.
We offer different versions of ecological fencing, including:
Permanent ecological fencing
Extremely tough and damage resistant.
– Designed to remain in situ for 3 – 5 years
– Ideal for perimeter newt fencing on sites where there is movement of personnel, plant or other traffic.
– Made from 3.5mm thick recycled HDPE material.
Semi-Permanent ecological fencing
– Provides a very tough, damage resistant newt barrier.
– Designed to remain in the ground for 12-18 months.
– Made from 5 mm –1mm thick, recycled HDPE material
– Available in rolls for easy installation over wide areas, which vastly reduces installation times.
Temporary ecological fencing
– Used as a newt fencing solution for shorter term projects, or where human disturbance is minimal.
– Designed to remain in the ground for 6-12 months only.
– An ideal solution for creating drift fencing within a great crested newt trapping enclosure, when installed in conjunction with pitfall traps.
– Made from 25mm thick polythene in 100m rolls ensuring that joins in the material are kept to a minimum and rolls can be easily moved.
Examples of successful projects: Working with Three Shires
Centriforce works closely with Three Shires, the specialist ecological contractor to develop and refine it’s Herpetosure fencing range. The product is proven in use in many projects, both within the UK and internationally, where it demonstrates its durability in demanding environments and yet is completely manufactured from recycled polymers which can then be recycled again at the end of the project life.
As part of the process to bring the dormant, 19-acre Ropsley quarry back into use, Three Shires Ltd were engaged to install ecological fencing to capture and protect the quarry’s on-site population of Great Crested Newts and reptiles. The environmental fencing was produced from recycled plastic sheet manufactured by Centriforce.
The project also required the creation of a large compensatory habitat to ‘translocate’ the protected animals captured in the quarry. This involved the creation of hibernacula (refuges and overwintering sites for the animals) and ponds, the planting of trees and hydroseeding of the area.
The project required approx. 1500m of Herpetosure® perimeter fencing and a similar length of Herpetosure internal fencing to facilitate species capture within the quarry itself.
Centriforce’s recycling credentials
Centriforce Products Ltd has been at the forefront of plastics recycling for over 35 years. From our large Liverpool recycling plant, we are able to offer a unique, fully traceable process which can recycle a broad range of plastic waste materials and convert them into useful second life products.
The UK currently exports nearly 15 million tonnes of waste material for recycling every year, of this approximately 0.8 million tonnes is waste plastic. Centriforce offers a UK-based alternative to this, by manufacturing quality, second-life products from recycled plastics.
Centriforce produces a range of products from recycled plastics, ranging from products such as our ecological fencing, to those used by Multinational Utility companies to protect their buried assets, to solutions for agriculture, including caps for hay bales and animal housing, to construction of garden furniture and boardwalks.
Find out more
Centriforce Products Ltd
12-14 Derby Road, Liverpool, L20 8EE, UK
Tel: 0151 207 5100 Email: email@example.com
Biodegradability plastics ? A recyclers perspective
Biodegradable plastics sounds like a bit of a holy grail. That potential magic solution to solve the problem of disposing of plastic and especially the unsightly plastic litter issue.
However, we as plastic recyclers have serious concerns about the concept. Not only do we believe that allowing plastics to naturally degrade is a waste of valuable resources, but we are especially concerned about the potential for biodegradable plastics to enter into raw material streams, ie plastics which are collected for recycling.
Centriforce strives to ‘re purpose’ used plastics to give them a second (and perhaps third life) in new applications. Our main development activity is to work with clients to explore potential applications which may be able to use recycled plastic in their application. In many, if not most cases, our recycled plastics get used in applications where longevity and durability are key properties – often replacing wood and timber materials in applications where they will tend to quickly rot and/or be unhygienic to clean and maintain.
As such we go to great lengths to try and control and manage our feed stock materials to ensure that we can make products for our clients which will often be expected to last decades. The prospect of our raw materials being contaminated with bio degradable plastic -or put another way – materials which are specifically designed to breakdown in the atmosphere causes us to be concerned that it will have an impact on the durability and expected lifetime of our products.
Plastic Recyclers Europe, one of our trade bodies has recently just conducted some trials to explore this aspect of recycling and concluded that there is definitely some concern about biodegradable plastics filtering into the feed stock streams of recycled plastic. Noting that where the raw material stream was contaminated with biodegradable materials, the material processing and property profile was, unsurprisingly, degraded too. The link to the article can be found here.
In our mind, until biodegradable plastics can be easily screened and sorted from general purpose plastics, it is not a great solution for plastic waste. Much better to continue the process of working towards applications which can use recycled plastics – and even better efficient and cost effective ways to improve the quality of recycled plastic streams to enable property improvements and perhaps the ability to replicate the original material.
Dunnamore Boardwalk in Northern Ireland
Dunnamore Riverside walk is a circular 3-4km walk along the banks of the upper Ballinderry River.
The river channel is home to aquatic flowering plants , invertebrates and freshwater shellfish as well as a healthy population of fish. There is also a thriving wildlife on shore on the surrounding banks and woodland which means that it’s important to provide appropriate facilities for visiting pedestrian traffic.
As part of the walkway, a 90m recycled plastic boardwalk was built by volunteers last summer for a specific, high traffic component of the path near the visitor centre on soft ground alongside the river.
The walkway has now bedded into its environment extremely well and is settling down.
These pictures of the boardwalk were taken this summer (Summer, 2017) – but unfortunately the weather wasn’t kind to us on the day we visited!
Another exhibition use for GroundMate
Once again, the application was a grassed surface that needed protection for a short period of time for industrial machinery and pedestrian traffic.
RAILLIVE is a relatively new exhibition which brings together suppliers to the rail sector and was held at the Quinton Rail Technology Centre at Long Marston in the midlands.
GroundMate was used as a highly cost-effective ground protection system which could be used on certain stands as a temporary protection grass system. Quick and easy to fix together using the custom joining system, GroundMate provided the ideal system for exhibitors.
GroundMate provides temporary flooring solution for Cablex exhibition and conference
GroundMate ground protection boards were the solution which EA Technology turned to when it was looking for a temporary flooring solution for its ‘Demo Den’ marquee at their recent’ Cablex2017′ exhibition and conference.
Now, in its second year, EA Technology’s seminar and exhibition series which, this year, was focused on ‘all things power cables’ was based at Chester Racecourse. This venue was idea to allow the demonstration of both indoor and outdoor equipment.
Centriforce was asked to provide the flooring system for a new area to the exhibition which was in a temporary marquee. This area allowed a series of demonstrations by exhibitors throughout the day. The flooring had to be able to take a mix of pedestrian, machinery and vehicle traffic during the day.
GroundMate also found great use as a ground protection system for vehicles and heavy machinery during exhibition build-up and take-down days and proved its worth many times over. The racecourse naturally wanted to minimise damage to the grass surfaces on this heavily used events area and the ground protection boards did just that.
If you are looking for a grass protection solution which is both effective for pedestrian and vehicular traffic and, very cost effective, then take another look at GroundMate ground protection boards for your next project
Centriforce helps Knowsley Safari Park with Stokbord sustainable materials
Knowsley Safari Park is famous for its conservation work and a great day out for the family too.
It’s also a near neighbour of Centriforce in Liverpool and we were delighted to help them out with a new building project they had last summer.
As part of the Park’s development, Knowsley Safari Park had a need to create some additional housing for some new residents, South American Bush Dogs and Bongo Antelope. Although very different species, apparently the bush dogs are the smallest pack hunting dogs and the Bongo are amongst the world’s largest antelope (and have extremely large horns). The power and strength of a bongo together with their capable horns can lead to them causing damage as they test their strength and rub up against the inside of their house!
Not everyone will need to make their building projects ‘bongo proof’ but when Knowsley were looking for materials that were strong enough and tough enough to withstand the rigours of housing these animals, they turned to Centriforce and we were delighted to help them out by supplying them Stokbord recycled plastic sheet and board.
Not only is Stokbord strong and durable enough to cope with the requirements at Knowsley Safari Park, but it has been proven in use over many years in agricultural applications throughout the UK.
Knowsley was particularly keen on the sustainability aspects since the product is made from 100% UK recycled plastics too.
We hope the new residents at Knowsley Safari Park are enjoying their new home and have found their winter accommodation very comfortable!
If you’ve found this article of interest, call us for more information about Stokbord recycled plastic sheet and board.
Centriforce at the Avon Valley Nature Reserve
The Avon Valley Nature Reserve, located on the river Avon near Salisbury, is a wonderful stretch of land in a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Highly-thought-of by environmental professionals – the land is a Specialist Area for Conservation – the reserve is also a favourite haunt of walkers, runners, and nature-lovers alike.
To provide access and keep the local ecology in the best possible condition, a wooden walkway was installed by the council, so that locals and visitors could all enjoy the beautiful area without endangering the flora and fauna.
Unfortunately, the existing wooden boardwalk was al but destroyed when heavy winter rains flooded the area. In the aftermath, the land was at risk of damage from walkers and runners, so the city council decided, in consultation with landscape specialists, Aquascience, to replace the destroyed walkway with a recycled plastic boardwalk, which Centriforce was only too pleased to provide.
The new plastic boardwalk offered great durability, with a long lifespan and minimal maintenance, but most importantly it was completely resistant to damage caused by the river or any future flooding. Furthermore, there was no need for additional materials such as chicken wire to provide extra grip for walkers and runners.
The 472 metres of plastic boardwalk proved very popular with local people. Aquascience were delighted by how well the boardwalk established in after just one year from installation. Feedback was extremely positive.
We’re exceptionally happy with how this particular installation turned out. An effective solution for the council, a brand-new boardwalk for visitors, and the recycled plastic means it’s good for the environment too. What’s not to love?
If you’d like to see more of this installation, we’ve made this video on-location, showing the existing section and the extension which was still in the process of being installed.
If you’ve been inspired by this story and would like to hear more about what Centriforce can do, get in touch today by calling 0151 207 8109, or use our handy contact form.
Recycled plastic profiles used to replace a wooden boardwalk
The project forms a walkway alongside the River Avon in the Stratford Sub Castle area. The walkway replaced and extended the existing wooden walkway which had degraded and been destroyed in floods. Salisbury City Councils Parks Management wanted a durable, yet attractive walkway to enhance the area.
Working in conjunction with Salisbury City Council and Aquascience Ltd, Centriforce proposed a design fully compliant with all Disabled Access regulations to replace a wooden boardwalk. Despite a delayed start caused by the flooding, which took months to recede, the project was completed within the planned installation time.
The versatility of the design and products even allowed the layout of the walkway to be modified during construction to accommodate a water vole habitat.
The posts were driven by a handheld hydraulic vibrating rammer meaning that the entire installation was completed efficiently and without the need for heavy machinery.
Recycling is part of the defence against climate change
Sometimes we need to remember why we bother trying to recycle as much as possible?
Well probably the biggest reason is because the planet has finite resources and we need to make sure that we use them responsibly and extract maximum value from these resources. Plastics are just one example of this and far too valuable to use only once – and then dispose or incinerate so efficient plastics recycling is critical.
However climate change is another very important factor and recycling plastic makes a massive saving on water use, energy use and production of gases -especially CO2. So wanted to share an infographic that the UK Met Office has just produced which neatly explains what climate change actually is.
Our disposable society can’t be right for the 21st century
UK Parliament’s Environmental Audit Committee have just published a report entitled, “Growing a Circular Economy: Ending the Throwaway Society” with some quite interesting thoughts and ideas to help the UK improve its environmental performance. Amongst these ideas is the headline grabbing, ‘lower VAT on recycled products’ which is something that has been proposed by some in the industry for many years to counteract our ‘disposable society’.
The Committee proposes a series of ideas which closely ally with ‘the waste hierarchy’. It starts with the principle that we should throwaway less and certainly one way of helping to achieve this is to make better products which last longer. We’ve probably all been frustrated by the cost of a repair bill on a large ticket item being such that it’s almost cheaper to buy a new item – and yet know in our mind that this just doesn’t feel right.
If we have to dispose of something when it has got to the end of its natural life, then clearly it makes sense for the items to be recyclable – but isn’t everything (virtually) recyclable? The issue here is contamination which is the root of many a recycler’s problems. Normally a recycler will be aiming for a key raw material, perhaps, paper, plastic, wood, glass and anything that isn’t the target is effectively contamination. Even within the generic term, ‘plastics’ which is our own area, we have to contend with numerous different types of plastics which have vastly different characteristics and performance.
So therefore purity is king -and getting hold of good quality raw materials with low levels of undesirable materials can often be more difficult that might be imagined.
Government does have an important role to play, by setting a vision and target for society to attain to and rewarding good performance – incentivising people to recycle more and be more ambitious in reducing our dependency on landfill and disposal.
We’ve long felt that providing a stimulus for people to buy recycled goods could be helpful and reducing VAT on recycled products is an interesting idea – but we probably shouldn’t hold our breath. The EU’s recent report on a circular economy suggests that we should be aiming for the capability to recycle over 70% of municipal waste and 80% of packaging wate by 2030. Although we have improved recycled rates significantly over recent years, it is becoming clear that our growth is levelling off and we are going to have to find new and more creative ways to improve our environmental performance as pressure increases on dwindling global resources over the coming decades.