Minimising and mitigating the environmental impact of the A6 to Manchester Airport Relief Road is a priority during the works. As part of the scheme, we are creating and implementing the following environmental mitigation measures on site:
- 11 habitat creation areas
- 21 newt ponds created, 3 ponds restored
- 6 barn owl boxes
- 35 bat boxes and bat hops
- 10 per hectare bird boxes
- Mammal tunnels
- 2 otter passages
- Tree and hedgerow planting
Environmental mitigation is an ongoing process throughout the works and detailed below are some of our recent activities.
Electrofishing Norbury Brook
The scheme requires a 40 metre stretch of Norbury Brook to be diverted. Prior to the diversion work starting, electrofishing was undertaken to rescue any fish that may become stranded in the existing channel and relocate them further downstream.
A total of 105 fish were successfully rescued, 77 Bull Head and 28 Brown Trout. Norbury Brook has since been successfully diverted.
Norbury Brook Diversion and Riverbed Creation
Following the rescue and relocation of the fish from the existing channel, the newly constructed channel was opened. Under the guidance of a geomorphologist, the new river channel was carved from bed rock to create features that fitted with the existing river.
Rocks and features were then translocated from the existing channel to be closed, into the newly constructed channel, creating boulder bars and pools.
Relocating plants and animals to new habitats
Compensatory ponds are being created across the scheme to replace ponds lost as a result of the scheme. Many different species, including great crested newts, are removed from the ponds and translocated to new habitats before the ponds are destroyed.
To capture the great crested newts prior to moving them to their new habitat, they are first trapped out of the ponds. After this, destructive hand searches are undertaken to rescue any animals which may have avoided the trapping.
Great crested newts are a European Protected Species and therefore mitigation measures being implemented are approved and licenced by Natural England and are part of the Planning Conditions for the scheme.
Environmental mitigation is an integral part of our activities on site and we will provide further updates as the works progress.