Great Crested Newt surveys in pond on site got into full swing this month working in collaboration with consultants undertaking their regular monitoring work.

In addition we had our first key site survey and sampling exercise on 14th and 16th May. This involved water testing and sampling, sampling aquatic invertebrates and surveying aquatic and emergent plant species in all water bodies on site plus the Brinsham stream . We also ventured to two quarries further afield at Tytherington and Cromhall (the latter now a diving centre) to see how conditions there had developed following flooding of the quarry voids. Some of the water quality tests e.g. dissolved oxygen, pH and conductivity were done in situ, as was much of the invertebrate identification (to family level), returning the species to their environments. In addition, back in the lab water samples were tested for a range of nutrients, heavy metals and suspended solids.

These surveys are all about understanding how water quality and other factors might affect the development of wetland biodiversity during the active life of a quarry, in areas adjacent and in quarries that have ceased to be dug and allowed to flood. Ultimately this information will help inform our recommendations for enhancing and accelerating wetland habitat development at the Chipping Sodbury quarries to help them become a wetland biodiversity hotspot once the quarries close in about 30 years’ time.