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Green Hill Farm Biodiversity Report 2023

Russ writes:

The Green Hill Farm Biodiversity Report 2023 has now been published - the full report can be downloaded via the following link and the executive summary is copied below:

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  • This 2023 Biodiversity Report for Green Hill Farm (Landford) provides an overview of ecological survey work conducted in 2023, and forms part of a long-term Biodiversity Enhancement Plan for the site.

  • The report focusses on an area called the ‘conservation fields’ that are primarily managed to deliver Biodiversity Net Gain; these fields cover nearly 11 ha, which is about one-third of the overall site area.

  • A total of 82 hours of survey effort was delivered in 2023, including walkover surveys, trail camera deployments, nocturnal moth surveys, and acoustic bat surveys.

  • A total of 724 species was recorded on site using all survey methods, including 40 priority species of high conservation interest. A total of 489 species was recorded from the conservation fields alone, including 30 priority species. Of the overall species totals, roughly half were invertebrates and one-third were plants and fungi.

  • A site-wide breeding bird survey recorded 42 bird species with breeding evidence obtained for 31 species. Of the estimated total of 119 occupied breeding territories, about one-third relate to the two commonest species: Robin and Wren.

  • The recent cessation of cutting and grazing in the conservation fields has resulted in increased sward length and structural diversity, which is already attracting priority species such as Noctule, Barn Owl, Nightjar, Stonechat, Grass Snake, Common Lizard, Common Toad, Hornet Robberfly, and three species of nationally scarce moth.

  • A moth survey on 06 Sept produced a specimen of Portland Ribbon Wave, a rare but increasing Red Data Book species; this record is probably only the second for Wiltshire.

  • Away from the conservation fields, a trail camera located in the main woodland block recorded Badger, Fox, Otter, Polecat, and Stoat, as well as three species of deer (Fallow, Muntjac, and Roe); Fallow Deer sightings peaked in July, when several does with young fawns were using the woodland as a nursery area.

  • Woodland and hedgerow habitats on the wider site have attracted additional priority species including Barbastelle, Marsh Tit, Woodland Grasshopper, and Wood Cricket.

  • Most management activity will commence in 2025 based upon the biodiversity baseline data collected in 2023-24. However, there will be some targeted cutting in the conservation fields in 2024 to create/maintain pathways, restrict the spread of an emergent block of Creeping Thistle, and address incursions of invasive non-native plant species.

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