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Site management and maintenance

Code of Practice Pointers

– Incorporate natural life cycles into maintenance plans, for example the long term development of vegetation. 

– Understand and incorporate maintenance requirements and relate to local practices.

– Establish and review management practices with respect to opportunities for landscape and wildlife enhancement.

– Monitor the functioning/performance of environmental measures, for example passages for wildlife, water quality, and adjust as necessary.

For the safe functioning of the scheme, ongoing management is required for the hard and soft estate. This too can have environmental consequences, for example combating icy conditions by application of salt, or the application of herbicides can result in the pollution of local watercourses and/or the contamination of the soil with consequential affects to the flora and fauna

For landscape maintenance programmes the setting and reviewing of management objectives for the soft estate is helpful in order to accommodate the growth of vegetation. Functional or safety requirements can be combined with those for visual purposes and wildlife i.e. to include regular checking of fence designed to protect the road from crossing vertebrates, or relate the cutting frequency of grassland maintenance to encourage butterflies.

Opportunities are available to enhance the soft estate within the scheme boundary. These should form part of the long-term management plan over say a 20-30 year period. Enhancement of existing transport infrastructure may be driven by wider environmental objectives (Box 3.6) although associated cost advantages have a role also, for example the provision of a wildlife crossing can reduce accidents and thereby save money. These measures have been implemented on some roads and there is a need for similar considerations along both the rail and waterway network.

The design of a scheme may include special measures to protect biological diversity and landscape. In addition to checking that these measures have been constructed correctly, monitoring should be undertaken as to the effectiveness. This is needed on account of unpredictable responses of wildlife to external changes and to changes arising from the route itself. Monitoring should enable the effectiveness of measures to be reviewed and adapted if necessary.  

Case Study

The “Losiniy ostrov” National Park is located on the north-eastern side of Moscow, between Moscow and the cities of Korolyov and Miytischi. The Park includes a variety of ecosystems including primary forest. A large number of types of animals are present in the Park including those that use it for a migration route. The Park has an important social and educational function.

The Park is influenced by the presence of built up areas, and by the Moscow Ring Highway (MKAD)/Lesser Ring of the Moscow Railway (MK MZhD) on its boundaries. The proposed Third High Speed Ring Expressway is likely to cross the park, and will require interchanges/crossings of the existing roads and railway line.

The pilot project reviewed the current MKAD and proposed Expressway with respect to animal movements along existing and potential crossing points; and wider environmental effects.

The conclusions and recommendations were that there was a need to:

 1.Ensure that the crossing points are situated on routes where animals are known to cross, and the surfacing of those routes is as natural as possible.

2.Ensure the animal crossing points are clear of snow and rubbish dropped by human beings, with the necessary coordination between road maintenance workers and park wardens.

3. Provide Buffer zones between the road and forest, with consideration given to pollutant resistant trees to reduce the pollution of primary forest areas.

4. Ensure that the highway maintenance protects the surrounding environment in the park, from problems caused by the overuse of herbicides and pesticides; dust from the road; and the overuse of de-icing materials.

5. Design landscape measures to maximise the wildlife benefit rather than for purely aesthetic reasons.

6. Ensure that all contract documentation relating to the new project, its design, construction and maintenance, fully take into account the importance of the Park.

 

 
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