Industry and nature thrive side-by-side at LLWR.
The site is home to a host of species, and whether they fly, swim, crawl or run, we do all we can to ensure they flourish.
The adder, though in decline nationally, is widespread in grassland habitats throughout the LLWR site. Method statements are prepared to guide sensitive working in areas supporting the snake and include seasonal restrictions on when works can be undertaken. Survey data are collected as appropriate to inform the specifics of mitigation.
Several species of bat forage around the optimal habitats associated with the Drigg Stream and extensive woodland shelter belts. Specific surveys are carried out to support major projects, and mitigation licences are obtained from Natural England to permit specific activities that may pose a risk of disturbance.
The extensive mosaic of grassland, scrub and woodland across the site supports a number of Red and Amber-listed bird species of conservation concern including skylark, common whitethroat, dunnock, linnet, mallard, meadow pipit, reed bunting, song thrush, willow warbler, kestrel and swallow.
Once again, specific surveys are carried out to inform the planning of major projects and appropriate mitigation is specified as necessary. Works that may affect nesting birds are subject to seasonal restrictions to comply with relevant legislation.
Common lizards make use of most of the grassy habitats where they live alongside adder and slow worm.
Method statements are prepared to guide sensitive working in areas supporting the common lizard, and include seasonal restrictions on when works can be undertaken. Survey data are collected as appropriate to inform specification of mitigation.
Certain ponds on the site support breeding populations of common toad. Their numbers and the health of the site population are monitored annually during great crested newt monitoring surveys. Periodic pond management is carried out in the winter to maintain suitable breeding habitat.
All works in habitats that may support common toads are subject to restrictions, including seasonal restrictions if necessary, to protect the species from harm.
Several ponds support small breeding populations of great crested newts. Their numbers and the health of the population are monitored annually by an appropriately licensed ecologist. Periodic pond management is carried out in the winter to maintain suitable breeding habitat.
All works within 500m of great crested newt breeding ponds are subject to restrictions, and mitigation licences are obtained from Natural England to permit specific activities that may pose a risk.
Bespoke ‘amphibian letterboxes’ have been installed along the base of the new security fence to allow these newts to move between the site and the adjacent Drigg Dunes, improving access to suitable foraging habitat.
The natterjack toad is very rare in the UK but the Cumbrian coastline is a known stronghold and populations are widespread along the coastal dunes adjacent to the site.
All works within the habitats adjacent to the dunes are subject to special restrictions to ensure these toads are not affected. Measures are also taken to prevent habitats developing that could attract them into areas of the site where they might be placed at risk of accidental harm.
Otters are occasionally seen foraging on the streams on the site and other evidence is found in the form of footprints and droppings (spraints). However, surveys of the streams have found no evidence to indicate that otters are resident on site.
All works within or alongside the streams are subject to restrictions, and appropriate mitigation is specified as necessary. A bespoke ‘otter grid’ was fitted where the new security fence crosses the outfall of the Drigg Stream, to allow otters to continue to move in and out of the site.
The diverse habitats on the site support many species that are not afforded specific legal protection, including roe deer, rabbit, stoat, feral cat, common frog, smooth newt and palmate newt.
Animal welfare requirements are considered as part of the planning and implementation of works in a sensitive and sustainable manner. Employees are requested to report sightings of wildlife and do so on a regular basis. A log is kept of these sightings and is filed with the LLWR environment team.
Pennyroyal, a type of mint, is a rare UK native with lilac-coloured flowers. It is found in only one area of the LLWR site where it is thought to have been introduced many years ago. The site population differs from the true native plant in occupying drier habitats and having a more upright growth form, and is therefore more typical of non-native populations.
All works within the part of the site where the species is located are subject to restrictions to protect the colony, with mitigation specified where necessary.