Isis Reach, Belvedere
The fifty-acre site presents several challenges for the maintenance team permanently based on site. There is a blanket no chemical policy on site so all weed and moss and pest and disease has to be treated and controlled using mechanical or biological methods.
There are water voles present on site and as a protected species we must exercise especial care to ensure that they and their habitats are not affected by any of our works. To this end we liaise closely with the local Wildlife Trust and the Environment Agency on the timing and method of operation. All works carried out along and within the series of ditches and dykes are undertaken using hand tools and small sections worked on at a time to allow any indigenous species to move away from the affected area safely.
All operations and tasks are tailored to provide a protective environment for the Water Voles and the other indigenous species on site. We constantly adjust our management regime to promote the biodiversity of the site and to encourage new species into the area. This has included increasing the number of bee pollinating plants on site, creating habitat piles and increasing wildflower species present on site to attract greater variety of insects, amphibians and bird species over the years.
The site based staff have undergone additional awareness and id training to be able to spot the early signs of water voles being present on site and to understand their habits and needs in terms of preserving a safe living environment. Through Frosts NVQ based Internal Horticultural training programme and registered trainer, we provide induction training for any new staff to the contract and refresher training and testing for existing staff on a regular basis.