Major Updates

Conserving nature & wildlife

With a project as big as MetroBus there is going to be an inevitable amount of disruption to the landscape and local wildlife. We acknowledge our responsibility to ensure this disruption is kept to a minimum and that the environment is protected. It’s a responsibility we take very seriously.

Below are just some examples of how MetroBus is looking after wildlife and its habitats.

South Bristol Link Road

An additional 3.7 acres of native woodland is being planted in and around the South Bristol Link. Once mature these trees will support a range of wildlife such as breeding birds, reptiles and invertebrates.

At Brookgate a new area of native woodland is being created to screen the industrial estate and small groups of trees are being planted where Brookgate meets the South Bristol Link road.

New trees at Hanging Hill Wood will make the area bigger and the Forest of Avon is working with us to make sure that the planting is appropriate. Native broadleaf woodland will also be planted throughout the rural parts of the scheme.

Toad tunnels have been installed under the South Bristol Link to enable migrating toads to reach their traditional spawning grounds.

Bat underpasses are being provided at the Colliter’s Brook, and Longmoor Brook crossings so bats can continue to use their existing routes. Road bridges have been planned to allow bats to pass underneath along existing bat flightlines. Our landscape planting in these areas has been designed to funnel bats commuting along the watercourses through the underpass. Bats have been shown to readily use underpasses where conditions are suitable.

To make sure that badgers and other mammals can safely cross, mammal underpasses will be provided at six locations along the South Bristol Link route. This includes an underpass linking the two areas of Highridge Common. Badgers are a common species and no main badger setts will be directly affected by the Link.

Six new ponds will be created along the Link’s MetroBus route for practical purposes as well as being beneficial to wildlife. The ponds will have shallow edges so wildlife can use it easily as well as shallow margins allowing the natural growth of vegetation. The ponds will be planted with native marginal aquatic plants and should become further colonised by a range of plants, invertebrates, amphibians and reptiles.

Ashton Vale To Temple Meads

Before the project started a series of relocation works was undertaken to move reptiles to an area of exchange land. Here a number of hibernacula were built to help with the relocation process. Resembling a pile of mud and sticks, a hibernacula is a refuge for animals, reptiles and insects where they can shelter and hibernate.

Existing bat boxes have been relocated and more are planned to be installed around Ashton Avenue Swing Bridge.

All of the bridges in the Ashton Vale floodplain have mammal ledges above flood level to allow small mammals to cross the road safely.

Potential habitats for water voles were found and the works amended to retain the habitat for possible future use.

A hoarding has been erected close to the Create Centre to protect Butterfly Junction, a breeding area famous for its high number of butterfly species and day moths.

Lighting has been carefully designed by Bristol City Council engineers over Ashton Avenue Swing Bridge so that it does not overspill to the river below and negatively impact the bat foraging areas along the Avon New Cut.

North Bristol/South Gloucestershire

All works are planned with the advise of the scheme ecologist.

New ponds are being installed in Bradley Stoke and along the new Stoke Gifford Transport Link Road between Hambrook and Parkway North.

More trees are being planted than removed.

Bird and bat boxes have been installed along the Stoke Gifford Transport Link along with special newt friendly drainage kerbs. These have little steps to allow newts to climb out if they get stuck.

Once the MetroBus construction phase has been completed, an extensive amount of landscaping will take place to promote the restoration of wildlife and to help MetroBus blend in with its environment.

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