Forder Valley Link Road - FAQs

How many trees need to be removed?

We have tried to keep the loss of trees to a minimum but around 400 to 450 along the alignment of the road will need to be felled. The trees are mainly oak and ash.

More than 14,500 trees will be planted on site – over 30 times the amount taken out – to offset the loss. This will ensure the landscape is restored as quickly as possible.

As well as planting onsite, further areas of woodland, grassland and hedgerow will be enhanced across the city to improve spaces for wildlife, using the funding set aside for wildlife improvements.

 

What are you going to do with the wood?

The best quality timber will be retained for use within the community park.

 

Will deer be affected by the work?

It’s amazing that a city road scheme has to take into account deer herds and it shows what a rich environment we have in Plymouth.

Deer naturally move away from human activity so they will avoid the works area during the project. There will, however, still be plenty of habitat for them to use within Derriford Community Park and other woodlands in the area away from the works.

Once the scheme is finished we will be erecting fencing to prevent road traffic collisions.

 

What other measures are you taking to look after our wildlife?

Bats

We love bats and want them to hang around long after the work has finished. The design of the scheme, both during construction and when the road is open, will ensure that bats can still feed, roost and move around the landscape.

Routes they currently use will be protected or replicated using temporary features.  Temporary fencing with additional screens and mesh will be placed along existing bat flyways to replicate removed hedgerows. Dead-hedging or temporary hedges will be used alongside the fencing to strengthen the flyway in important areas. These will be in place from the beginning of March until the end of October, when the bats are active.

New feeding areas will also be planted and roosting sites will either be retained or if this is not possible, replicated. Changes to bat roosting sites will be completed under a licence from Natural England. All these measures will ensure that the scheme does not harm bats that currently use the site.

The scheme will also be providing new places for bats to roost in the wider valley. Boxes will be installed on trees that are sheltered from strong winds and will be exposed to the sun for part of the day. They are spacious enough for bats to use as a summer roost or nursery site. Bat activity will be monitored throughout the construction.

 

Otters

Otters do not live in the valley, but they have been known to pass through. A culvert is being created as part of the project along the alignment of the existing stream and has been designed to ensure that it is suitable for use by otters.

 

Birds

Wherever possible, we aim to keep vegetation clearance outside of the breeding bird season. The project starts in February so tree removal will happen first to limit impacts on birds.  However we will keep a close eye out and before any vegetation is removed it will be checked for birds. If a bird’s nest is recorded, an exclusion zone will be clearly marked around the nest. No works will be carried out within this area until the young birds have fledged.

To mitigate the loss of breeding habitats and until newly created habitats have become established 50 bird boxes will be installed on trees nearby to provide alternative breeding habitats.

 

Badgers

We have carried out a number of surveys and identified a badger sett, which has been closed under licence and is being monitored for activity. The project team will be keeping a close eye out for any signs of badger activity and an ecologist will be present during clearance works.

Before construction starts, protective fencing will be put up to minimise badger entry into the construction site. The area will be constantly monitored for activity.

 

What measures are you taking to reduce noise?

Site clearance works will only be carried out between 8am and 6pm seven days a week. We are not expecting noise levels to be more than 75 decibels outside the nearest window of a property closest to the site (normal conversation levels are about 60 and a washing machine is around 70 decibels).

Noise levels at the site will be monitored, especially in areas close to homes. If noise levels exceed the expected levels for a significant period of time, a noise specialist will discuss bringing in specific mitigation.