Brownfield sites are often defined as ‘previously-developed land that is or was occupied by a permanent structure’. The regeneration and re-use of brownfield sites has long been an essential part of the government’s policy for new development. However, they can also be areas of rich biodiversity and careful ecological evaluation and assessment of brownfield sites is frequently required during the planning process.
Brownfield sites often come with a suite of ecological factors that differ from greenfield land in the open countryside. This is mostly due to neglect and support animals and plants that are quick to colonise undisturbed and unmanaged areas of land. In addition, brownfield sites have often had a history of disturbance and in the case of quarries and brickpits, excavation and soil movement. This can result in a varied topography, the presence of ponds and ephemeral water bodies, log piles, rubble piles and bare ground, all of which can be habitats to protected and notable species such as invertebrates, reptiles, great crested newts and plants. In addition derelict buildings, particularly those which have been unused for several years, can become valuable sites for roosting bats.
Ourecological consultantshave experience of surveying brownfield habitats and the particular ecological challenges they present with regard to colonising habitats and associated protected and notable species such as reptiles, amphibians and bats. Pure Ecology Ltd. has expertise in the assessment brownfield regeneration, as well as providing advice on habitat management plans .