Hartlebury Castle, Ecology Surveys

Ecological surveys to support planning permission for Natural Woodland Playground

Services

Ecology,
Protected Species,

Sectors

Other,

Date

2021-2022

Client

Hartlebury Castle Preservation Trust

CSA were approached by Hartlebury Castle Operations Manager to undertake ecological surveys in areas of the grounds around the castle. The Castle was previously the home to the ‘warring’ Bishops of Worcester for over a 1000 years, from 855 to 2007. There are intriguing historical tales about the castle over the years, however in 2007 it came under threat of being sold privately. Fortunately, the Hartlebury Castle Preservation Trust was formed and has preserved the gardens, grounds, parkland and historic contents for the nation to enjoy. With the help of Heritage Lottery Fund the castle has been refurbished and the grounds and large moats enhanced for public access and wildlife.

As part of these improvements, ecologists from CSA undertook surveys within the woodland to identify any protected plants or animals, such as badgers, otters and newts and were able to advise the Trust accordingly. This information was used to support a successful planning application to install a natural adventure play area for children to explore and learn about wildlife and history. This will be constructed in close cooperation with the Trust staff, designers and with CSA ecologists overseeing the early works, giving a ‘tool box’ talk to the operatives installing the equipment and a watching brief to ensure no sensitive habitats or species are impacted. Once the play area is completed it will provide an additional opportunity for children to experience nature through play. The play area has been designed by the ‘Natural Play Company’, and includes a zip wire, wooden towers and turrets and other balancing and rope equipment located carefully among the trees.