Habitat surveys at Silverdale Country Park

24 Mar 2021

Silverdale Country Park- Staffordshire, UK

 

Ecological Services provided:

  • Habitat Surveys
  • Habitat Monitoring

 

The Silverdale Country Park covers over 83 Hectares. Located in a largely rural area, characterised by open farmland, it skirts the Northwestern fridge of Silverdale Village. This country park is located on the former Silverdale Colliery.

It is around 3km from Newcastle-under-Lyme, with the city of Stoke-on-Trent sitting just beyond.

 

The History of Silverdale Country Park

 

Following the closure of the colliery in 1988, the site was left largely abandoned. With remediation work being carried out in phases.

The Park represents a significant area of green space close to a large urban conurbation. It is a part of a notable cluster of former mining sites in the local area, which have been restored for amenity use and wildlife value. Public access in Silverdale is largely unrestricted (with the exception of sensitive wildlife areas). But nevertheless, this park has become a very important site for recreation for the local residents. 

 

Our Ecological Services- Habitat Surveys and Monitoring

 

Members of the Apex team carried out a Phase 1 Habitat Survey of the Country Park. In order to identify how the Park has developed in terms of the habitats and vegetation present, particularly in response to management. The survey forms part of an ongoing programme of habitat and species surveys. To ensure management procedures are successful in delivering the desired wildlife benefits and to inform future management decisions concerning protected species in particular.

The survey involved comprehensive and detailed mapping and assessment of the habitats. This identified important areas that included: 

  • Open Mosaic Habitat and ephemeral water bodies
  • The presence of notable plant species that are rare or uncommon in the County

The results from the Habitat Survey indicated that a much larger area of the Country Park is of county importance for nature conservation, that the area currently designated.

 

Reporting on the Survey Findings

 

Following the survey, we prepared a detailed report.

  • The report assessed changes in the vegetation which have taken place over time
  • Our report also set out threats and challenges, including those from invasive non-native species
  • The report also identified priorities in relation to the vegetation and habitats
  • Plus, presented alternative approaches to and ideas for management where current practices had shown to be ineffective