The Site of Nature Conservation Interest (SNCI) at the western edge of the site is comprised of a rich grassland, scrub and woodland habitat. However, in its current state it’s overgrown, inaccessible and misused.
The development will restore this area to chalk grassland, scrub and woodland in keeping with the character of the South Downs. The dew pond will also be restored, and pedestrian/cycle paths provided, connecting to the South Downs National Park. The SNCI will be managed to maximise its benefit to wildlife and for public enjoyment.
Existing wildlife sensitively managed
Hazel Dormouse, Slow-worm, Common Lizard, birds and low numbers of foraging bats currently inhabit the site
The measures proposed as part of the development will enhance the SNIC for all species
In addition to retaining and protecting core wildlife habitat dispersal routes around the site will be created to allow wildlife to move to surrounding habitats in the South Downs and along the A27 embankment
The habitat restoration and management proposals described below, together with contributions towards habitat creation projects in nearby Local Wildlife Sites, will ensure that populations of these species in the local area are conserved and enhanced
Works on site will be carefully planned and managed to minimise disruption to wildlife, taking into account seasonal constraints, and vegetation clearance will be supervised by a suitably qualified ecologist
Improvements to wildlife
At present, the site is unmanaged. The proposals will increase the diversity of habitats with the addition of species-rich chalk grassland, bare chalk and wetland areas alongside scrub and woodland, and all of these habitats will be managed in the long term for wildlife
These habitats will encourage new species onto the site, including plants, amphibians, invertebrates, birds, bats and potentially other reptile species
New hibernation features will be created in the SNCI for reptiles, amphibians and small mammals. Nest boxes will be provided for bats, birds and Dormice, and green roofs will be sown with a chalk grassland seed mix