Our partner, Ground Control is coordinating all planting on the project. A delivery of 400 trees to the Ground Control nursery has heralded the start of the 20/21 planting season – so it’s the perfect time to take a closer look.
2020/2021 planting season
This is a big season for planting. Ground Control plan to plant around 1000 trees, over 5,500 linear metres of hedgerow and over 36,000 square metres of woodland structural planting, greatly contributing to the ecological welfare of the region by planting indigenous species, whilst offsetting carbon.
Ground Control is also responsible for protecting the planting with hedge protection, stock fencing or horse fencing. To date the team has installed over 2,200 linear metres of horse fencing and 3,800 linear metres of stock fencing.
Agreed as part of the planning process, landowners within 3km of the route are eligible to apply for free tree and hedgerow planting as part of the project’s Off-Site Planting and Enhancement Scheme (OSPES).
National Grid is responsible for maintaining trees and hedgerows for five years, to ensure successful establishment.
Planting is carried out in a way that: contributes to local biodiversity; is consistent with local landscape character; will not damage archaeology or heritage assets; and, does not conflict with planting secured by other existing planning consents.
We are currently working with 170 landowners along the route on a design and build basis. This season Ground Control will be delivering OSPES planting schemes to over 100 landowners.
“The HCP landscaping project is really taking shape now. With 115 OSPES sites being planted this winter we are making excellent progress towards meeting our DCO targets. The team is working tirelessly to get everything ready and I look forward to seeing the end results,” says Chris Green, National Grid Project Engineer with responsibility for landscaping.
Advanced planting is agreed to effectively screen our construction activity by planting trees and hedgerows.
Around Sandford substation, Ground Control has planted 32 trees and 271 woodland structure plants, hydroseeded approximately 7396m2 and completed 5250m2 of wildflower and grass mix seeding. The team is also working to finalise the designs for the Loxton cable sealing end compound.
For every tree that we have to remove as part of our construction works we will plant four and there are stipulations on the types of trees we can use. Hedgerows and woodland mix are replaced at a ratio of 1:1. We always aim to replace the planting back in the same place. If space and construction activity doesn’t allow this, we replace as close as possible to where it was removed.
In 2020/21 Ground Control is carrying out replacement planting at 12 sites on Stage 4, the 132kV cables project.
Ground Control is also responsible for erecting hedge protection and stock fencing.