Atkins were commissioned to undertake a specialist survey of woodland outside Arklow, Co. Wicklow at the site of a proposed wastewater treatment plant to establish its conservation importance. The need for the survey arose following consultation with NPWS which indicated that the site was potentially an ancient woodland of high conservation value.

Scope of Work

The survey methods consisted of a walkover study which included:

– A list of plant species present, including rare or protected vascular plant and bryophyte species

– An assessment of woodland age and structure

– An evaluation of environmental and management characteristics, e.g. topography, soil type, soil moisture, hydrology, human disturbance, grazing and deadwood abundance

Woodland types were classified and mapped according to the Heritage Council classification. Two vegetation plots were surveyed in detail in different woodland vegetation types, and their positions were recorded using a GPS. In each of these, the relative abundance of vascular plant and bryophyte species was recorded and detailed data were collected on tree canopy and understorey structure.

Client:Nicholas O’Dwyer Limited / Entec UK