Projects: Immingham and Hull

A client building biomass power stations in the North-east had worked with us in previous organizations and was keen to continue the relationship. One of the developments, at the ABP Port of Immingham on the Humber, needed some ecology and landscape advice in order to discharge a set of planning conditions: a scheme for the relocation of a peregrine nest site, from the grain silo due to be demolished to water towers nearby, together with a design for planting that could cope with the harsh industrial conditions and still offer some aesthetic and wildlife benefit.

We worked with the port, the developer and with the regional RSPB office to draw up a winter timetable for installing the new nesting boxes at suitable locations close by and known to be used by the peregrines before netting the grain tower to discourage prospecting. The scheme worked well; the demolition programme has been able to proceed and the birds are still present.

The landscape design was challenging given the complete absence of soil! So, we came up with plans for large raised planters set above strips of ground where the concrete could be broken up enough to allow root infiltration. The species mix replicated local hedge and scrub communities but added hardy, colourful species to provide long-season forage (pollen, nectar, seeds, fruits, foliage). Another objective of the scheme has been to use the planters to establish communities of ground-cover species useful for wildlife that might self-seed (harmlessly and in fact usefully) into the industrial landscape.