Site audit and assessment

However simple, the site audit is essential to answer these questions:
  • Is the site suitable for a habitat creation project?
  • Are there existing heritage features on the site, or other constraints (such as power lines or recreational use), which need to be accommodated or considered in the plan?
  • What habitat(s) and plant communities could be feasibly created (or restored) and realistically maintained?
  • What will be the logistics, costs and resource requirements in carrying out a scheme and maintaining it for the future?
At the detailed level, the results of the audit will enable you to:
  • design the planting/sowing patterns for each habitat or conversely, identify that natural regeneration may be the most appropriate option for establishing natural vegetation
  • calculate the quantities of seed and plants required
  • specify the ground works and other logistics, such methods of establishment and after care needed
  • identify people, whether volunteers, contractors or other specialists, you will need to work with to successfully achieve your project.
A range of specialists may need to be involved, depending on the type and location of the project.

Information on the following should be obtained:
  • existing vegetation and wildlife
  • landscape and heritage context
  • soil and hydrological characteristics
  • access for machinery (including future access needed for managing the site).
Where relevant, additional information on the following may be required:
  • presence of any contaminated land (e.g. former industrial sites)
  • legacy of other past land use (e.g. presence of debris such as bricks and large stones that may need to be removed)
  • current use by people and their likely attitudes to any change that might take place on the site – make sure to consult appropriate organisations and current users of the site
Farms wishing to apply for agri-environment scheme grants will need to carry out whole farm audits in a format as required by the relevant government agency, e.g. in England, the Farm Environment Plan.

Page last modified on Tuesday 12 of June, 2012 14:40:19 BST