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Tree protection & newt fencing – transcript of video

We are at site at Harry Stoke in Bristol, working for Chris Nicholson on housing development. This is the second phase of development. JPR were initially involved in the first phase going back as far as 2012. On that phase, we installed newt fencing, tree protection fencing, and several of our environmental features for them. The second phase kicked off in , which saw JPR installing about 2,500 meters of newt fencing.

Following that, and a successful translocation exercise, JPR were commissioned to install just about 2,000 meters of tree protection fencing. All the fencing is fully compliant with BS 5837, which are the regulations governing trees in relations construction. The fence consists of a large scaffold framework with weld mesh panels attached to it, and the general principle is that this fence then protects the trees and the root protection zones during construction.

JPR mobilized this site quite quick turnarounds, we\’re on-site within three days of receiving instruction, we\’re able to hit the ground of large numbers of people, we\’ve kept a minimum team of at least seven operatives down here. We\’re also able to bring them a lot of our new plants for this job, so we\’ve had the new tracks Protech post knocker down here, which is a great bit of kit. That means we\’ve essentially had a one-man post knocking operation, and we\’ve been able to drive in 300 poles a day, which is a great efficiency for us.

We\’ve also had our tracks Norco loader down here, which has been fantastic. When it rains here, the ground gets very, very slippy, wheeled vehicles become basically useless, and the tracked loader has really kept things moving. It\’s distributed materials all around the boundary of the sites. That\’s really taken a lot of the manual handling out of this job from a health and safety point of view. That\’s really important to us.

JPR do a lot of this type of work. We\’re seeing an increasing amount of tree protection fencing going in at the minute. Typically, we\’ll be working for developers all over the country delivering this service. Also on this site, the three protection fencing serves several purposes. It doesn\’t just protect the trees, it\’s also acting as the main site security fence, keeping public access to a minimum. It also protects the newt fence during construction as well.

The great crested newt mitigation strategy for this site is quite complex. The license has been running since 2012. There are several breeding ponds around the area. There\’s also a system of ditches which criss-cross the site. In terms of putting up the newt fencing, JPR were able to compartmentalize the site for the developer. Certain parts of the site had a longer trapping period than others. Some sectors had a 30-day trapping, some were 60, and some were 90. Working closely with the ecological consultancy, we\’re able to get certain parts of the site opened up ahead of schedule for the developer.

This allows them to get in and on-site start putting up compounds and getting access on while we ecologists are finishing off the translocation exercise.

JPR have created a few wildlife ponds on this site, and also the attenuation pond from a previous phase of the development has been colonized by great crested newts. They use the dry stream, the hedgerows, and the ditches to move around the site, which means that some parts of the site are quite high density of newts, while other parts, which have been previously pasture lands, have got a relatively sparse population on them.