Bolsover Properties instructed Cawarden to reclaim the former colliery site suitable for commercial/industrial use whilst providing a long-term sustainable solution to protect botanical diversity and maintain the conservation status of Dingy Skipper butterflies.

The site had been left untouched for many years and in that time the botanical and invertebrate interest had developed sufficiently to be designated as a Local Wildlife Site.

Surveys confirmed the botanical interest of Common Spotted-Orchid and Bee Orchid. Invertebrates surveys revealed the presence of a range of butterfly species including a small population of Dingy Skipper, which is uncommon in Nottinghamshire. 

The project aimed to provide a long-term sustainable solution that would protect botanical diversity, maintain the conservation status of Dingy Skipper and enable re-development.

Cawarden’s contract called for the removal of demolition arisings from the former colliery buildings and the remediation and consolidation of the land in readiness for development.

Our work at the site was undertaken in phases – over several years. While the land reclamation was a major concern for the client, the conservation requirements involved some very interesting work alongside our more unusual site remediation work.

We were therefore required to create new habitats and relocate the rare species from their current locations on the site to the periphery of the development.

The care and attention to detail proved worthwhile. The translocated grasslands and hydro-seeded grasslands are thriving. Monitoring of the Dingy Skipper populations provided encouraging results from the outset and the 2016 monitoring indicated a minimum population size increase of 350% in the created habitats when compared to the baseline in the original habitats. Monitoring in 2018 of adult butterflies only, indicated that the increase in population size has been sustained.

The project has succeeded beyond expectations and has provided the population with a long-term future in the area. Numbers are such that expansion into new habitats – beyond the existing range – will likely occur in the future.

The expertise provided by Butterfly Conservation and the willingness of the client, supported by Cawarden and the ecologist, enabled a sustainable long-term solution to be developed.

The scheme has received a commended award by The Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM).

Interested in learning more about our work on this project?

Check out our feature in Demolition & Dismantling Magazine here

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