AEcol have a long history of assisting in the design of restoration proposals. Experience has taught us that passive input in the form of a review and informal recommendations are more helpful than us leading quarry staff. This is because there is often an element of diplomacy required when mineral is to be extracted under licence to a third-party landowner.
We therefore set out which habitats are required in order to satisfy planning policy, and what the extent of those habitats will ideally be. Our clients can then produce their concept restoration proposal in terms of landform etc., taking into account the needs of the landowner. Having done so, we review what is desired and make small ‘tweaks’ to the species mixes and proposed management within the aftercare to ensure that the maximum biodiversity gains are made within the confines of the scheme.
This approach has been found to be successful in reconciling the profit margins anticipated (i.e. we don’t recommend anything wildly expensive) and the reality on the ground (i.e. we don’t recommend anything that won’t actually grow) with the desires of the landowner (i.e. we won’t recommend something that has no ongoing value) whilst ensuring national and local planning policy in respect of biodiversity is satisfied.