Background

Twig was recently engaged to undertake a site clearance project for a roundabout improvement project in Sittingbourne, Kent. The aim was to reduce travel time for the local community by improving the roundabout’s efficiency. However, the construction site presented several challenges because of its overgrown vegetation and the presence of wildlife.

Challenges

The site posed several challenges, including;

  • wildlife protection –the site was home to reptiles and nesting birds, requiring careful consideration to avoid disrupting their habitats
  • overgrown vegetation – the site was overgrown with dense vegetation, making it difficult to access and clear
  • tree stumps –the site contained various tree stumps from previous tree clearance works, which needed to be removed to create a level and stable surface for construction.

Solutions

To address the challenges, we implemented a comprehensive site clearance plan that prioritised environmental protection and safety.

  1. Ecological assessment: prior to any vegetation clearance, our specialist ecologists conducted thorough site inspections to identify potential nesting sites and reptile habitats.
  2. Wildlife mitigation: we took several steps to mitigate the impact of the site clearance work on wildlife, including
      • installing reptile mats and newt fencing to protect reptiles and amphibians
      • conducting daily nest checks during bird nesting season to avoid disturbing nesting birds
      • trapping reptiles and moving them to a safe location.
  3. Vegetation clearance: we employed a combination of methods to clear the vegetation safely and efficiently. For soft vegetation, we used a robotic mower with a flail attachment, strimmer and brush cutters. For denser vegetation and trees, we utilised an excavator with a tree shear attachment and a whole tree chipper.
  4. Stump grinding: to ensure a level and stable surface for future construction, we ground the tree stumps to a depth of 300 mm below the ground using stump grinders.

Outcomes

The site clearance project was successfully completed within the specified time frame and budget. The dense vegetation and stumps were cleared, creating a safe and accessible work area for the construction team. Additionally, we ensured the protection of wildlife and the surrounding environment throughout the project.