Argus Ecology

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Cowpen Bewley Landfill Site

Client: Impetus Waste Management

Cowpen Bewley is a landfill site formerly operated by ICI, which was formerly used for industrial waste disposal, and now receives a mix of domestic and commercial waste. The site lies adjacent to Greatham Creek and Cowpen Marsh, part of the Teesmouth and Cleveland Coast Special Protection Area (SPA), of international importance for its bird populations. There is also a regionally important water vole population living in close proximity to the site.

Argus Ecology's involvement in this site spans a number of years, and includes a range of studies to support planning applications and IPPC permitting.  As part of the project it was necessary to remove a ditch which held water voles. Another ditch which did not support a vole population was first remodelled to give a meandering form, with variations in bank profile and new aquatic planting designed to maximise its value and carrying capacity for water voles. Following consultation with Natural England's local office, an extensive trapping programme was carried out using holding pens, and ensuring no activity remained on the donor ditch prior to works. Subsequent monitoring has confirmed successful translocation, with a population now established in the high quality habitat of the remodelled ditch.

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