In this case study, we present a project focused on vegetation clearing to prepare 27 sites for future development. The objective was to remove sufficient vegetation to enable site investigation works to proceed smoothly. However, during the process, we encountered nesting birds on some sites, which necessitated rescheduling some clearing activities to protect local wildlife and comply with ecological guidelines.
Our client sought to utilise 27 additional sites for the construction of solar arrays. These sites were overgrown with dense vegetation and contained various trees that needed to be cleared before any construction could begin.
The primary objectives of the project were as follows:
- Clear vegetation from the 27 sites, reducing ground vegetation to 100mm using a robotic tractor with a flail attachment.
- Safely fell trees and remove them from the sites using chainsaws and tree chippers.
- Grind the tree stumps to a depth of 300mm below the ground to ensure a level and stable surface for future construction.
- Collaborate closely with the ecology team to identify nesting bird sites and reschedule clearing activities to avoid disturbances during nesting bird season.
To achieve the stated objectives, the project utilized the following methods:
- Robotic tractor with flail attachment: A specially equipped robotic tractor was employed to cut the ground vegetation to a uniform height of 100mm, efficiently clearing large areas.
- Chainsaws and tree chippers: Skilled arborists used chainsaws to fell trees safely, while tree chippers were utilized to process the felled trees into manageable wood chips.
- Stump grinders: Stump grinders were employed to grind the tree stumps to a depth of 300mm below the ground, ensuring a smooth terrain for future construction.
- Collaboration with Ecology team: Our project team worked closely with the ecology team to conduct thorough surveys for nesting birds. If any nesting birds were found, clearing activities for the respective sites were rescheduled until after the nesting bird season to protect the wildlife.
Thanks to the successful implementation of the methods described above, the results of the project are as follows:
- Partial site clearing: Most of the 27 sites were effectively cleared of excess vegetation, creating ample space for the subsequent site investigation works.
- Site investigation planning: Site investigation works have been scheduled for the cleared sites to assess the feasibility and design requirements for future development.
- Ecological Compliance: Due to the identification of nesting birds, clearing activities for the affected sites were responsibly rescheduled to comply with ecological guidelines, ensuring the protection of local wildlife and their habitats.
In conclusion, our vegetation clearing project has made significant progress in preparing the majority of the 27 sites for future development. The project’s adherence to ecological guidelines and respect for nesting bird season demonstrates our commitment to responsible environmental practices.