Protecting the environment
Protecting the site’s existing natural habitats is a priority and that’s why we have a separate Ecological Design and Management Plan within our overall vision.
The Ecological Design and Management Plan considers the impact engineering activities might have on wildlife and sets out standards and procedures to minimise this impact. We have also put action plans in place to help us manage each of the key species on the site.
The development of Dargavel Village gives us many interesting opportunities to create habitats of different types which will sustain wildlife and help it thrive. A mosaic of water, woodland and open grassland already provides the perfect place for many different wildlife species.
By planning our activities with nature conservation in mind, we are helping to preserve and protect the wildlife and habitats of Bishopton for the future. We’re as passionate about protecting and preserving the natural environment as we are about transforming our Bishopton site into a new and thriving community space. We want to accommodate wildlife and put in place new and improved habitats in areas where it can flourish.
Within the boundaries of the site, we have 24 species of mammal, 4 species of amphibian and 100 species of bird, of which 7 mammals and 4 birds are specially protected by European and UK law.
We work closely with Scottish Natural Heritage to ensure that the wildlife and their habitats are preserved or, where necessary, repositioned in the right way. This site is unique as Scottish Natural Heritage has granted 5 year renewable licences for managing badger habitats, otter habitats and bat habitats.
Our wild residents
There are a number of active badger clans across the site that tend to feed in specific, reasonably well defined areas. The presence of badgers brings with it certain responsibilities. As a result of this we’ve put in place a specific Badger Management Plan. This outlines the particular actions to be followed to ensure that work on site takes account of the conservation status of the badgers.
Our ecologists have identified a large number of badger setts within the development and we are continuously monitoring their locations to ensure that the badgers are not disrupted by any of the remediation or construction works. Our ‘Stealth Cams’ capture the badgers’ movements and enables us to track the number of badgers in any one area. As part of the remediation work, we have constructed a number of new setts to relocate some of the badgers to ensure that they are in a safe environment.
We also create temporary foraging areas for barn owls and badgers in grasslands around the site.
We have a variable bat population on the Bishopton site and during the remediation phase, we have installed bat boxes to provide safe areas for the bats to live. Our ecologists regularly carry out bat surveys on the buildings and surrounding trees before any work is carried out.
We have at least three otters living on the Dargavel Village development. To make our otters feel safe and at home, we have created, what we call, the Otter Park - a 1,000 meter long waterway in a quiet area on the south side of the site where our otter family can live and play.
Barn owls are a protected species and we have several living within the development. To ensure their safety, we have two purpose-built ‘Barn Owl Manors’ – small wooden houses on stilts that provide the owls with shelter – and we have a number of smaller owl boxes around the site to provide alternative nesting locations for the owls. Two old factory buildings have been modified to allow Barn Owl’s to use as a nesting site.
As well as the barn owls, the site is also home to a number of bird species. Throughout the year we monitor the birds visiting and living on the site, especially during the nesting season. We have to ensure that birds nesting in the trees, buildings or on the ground around the site are protected from any potential construction or remediation works. We have a Bird Management Plan for the protection of birds and mitigating action to avoid flocking birds becoming a danger to local air traffic.
Since work began on the development, our team of ecologist have spotted 102 bird species.