For over 15 years the Three Shires Team has worked with ecologists to develop a variety of habitat creation techniques; many of which are now common place on mitigation projects across the country.

Three Shires habitat translocation and creation services incorporate our practical contracting expertise with our technical ecological knowledge.

Three Shires has unrivalled experience in the following habitat works:

Hibernacula construction

Hibernacula are used as compensatory terrestrial habitat on almost all Newt and reptile mitigation projects. Constructed using a mixture of clean brick bats or stone and timber pieces, Hibernacula are typically 2 metres long x 1 metre wide x 1 metre tall. This said Three Shires has built many giant hibernacula on a variety of sites, including:

  • Snake habitat. 100 metre long x 15 metre wide snake habitats for Tesco’s in Staffordshire.
  • Newt habitat; 50,000 cubic metres in size for BNFL at Sellafield Nuclear Power Station.
  • Newt Habitat; 3 number 50 metre x 2 metre hibernacula for Nottingham Trent University.
  • Newt Habitat; 1 number 50 metre x 2 metre hibernacula for RSK at Ilkeston Station.

Pond and wetland creation

Three Shires can design and construct pond and wetland habitats of any scale. Our experienced team can recommend the use of a variety of butyl and bentonite liners and provide detailed aquatic, marginal and emergent planting specifications. We can also install a range of board walk, platforms and decking areas should they form part of your requirements.

Badger Sett and Sett Closure

For a number of years Three Shires has worked with ecologists from across the country to develop badger mitigation techniques that work. With experience of 100’s of sett closures our experts are able to advise on the right approach for your scheme. Our service covers the entire badger relocation process from the installation of badger gates and netting to sett destruction and even grout bagging. Three Shires are well regarded by ecologists as the market leader in badger sett construction and have been responsible for popularising many of the techniques used today.

Otter Holt Construction

Three Shires is well practiced in constructing otter holts to a variety of specifications. Our expert team are able to advise on elements such as optimal siting and orientation, material sourcing and design. Three Shires has constructed artificial otter holts on many construction schemes, most recently installing 2 new holts for Staffordshire Alliance as part of their Norton Bridge project.

Water Courses for Water Vole

Creating new water vole habitat can be expensive, and is notoriously time consuming. Many clients are unaware that these habitats need extended periods of establishment before water vole populations can be translocated to them. Although establishment time is inevitable, Three Shires is able to advise on innovative approaches and materials which can accelerate establishment whilst delivering optimal ecological value.

The creation of new water vole ditches is commonly followed by the installation of Herpetosure Water Vole Fencing. This fencing is used not only in the water vole translocation but is also installed around new ditches to prevent other water voles from and entering the new habitat. Many clients are surprised to learn that if other water voles inhabit a newly created ditch prior to translocation additional habitat will need to be built and the process starts again.

Grassland Translocation

Developers are often surprised at the level of protection of certain grassland species. There are a range of ways grassland can be translocated including macro turfing, seed harvesting and loose fill excavation and re-siting.

Over the last decade Three Shires has invested in specialist equipment that make grassland translocation swift and cost effective. Our range of flail collection units both tracked and wheeled are able to harvest seed quickly and with a minimum ground pressure. Three Shires have also developed a unique macro turf cutter used on our larger excavator units; this systems has been used to great effect on large scale turf translocation on MOD and brownfield sites across the country.

Unlike other contracting organisations our ecologically trained operators understand habitat translocation and have been working alongside ecologists on a daily basis for nearly ten years – Our people are what make working with Three Shires different.

Bat Boxes

Three Shires has developed a range of artificial bat boxes and roosting solutions for use on licenced bat mitigation projects. Marketed under the Herpetosure Brand, the range features unheated pedestal and building mounted options, through to heated maternity roosts.

The Herpetosure Bat box range includes the following standard systems:

  • Herpetosure Four Season Bat Box
    Available wall mounted or supplied on a dedicated steel base hinge Pedestal.
  • The Herpetosure Ecostat 2
    The 'Eco-Stat 2' heated bat box is a thermostatically controlled, mains-operated system for providing artificial heating for bats which roost in roof crevices etc. The Eco-Stat 2 enables box temperatures to be programmed to give monthly control throughout the year. The Eco-Stat 2 is intended as an off-the-shelf mitigation solution aimed at bat consultants working on development projects where additional flexibility is needed, over and above more conventional measures.
  • The Herpetosure Ecostat Max
    This has the same functionality as Ecostat 2 but offer 3 times the roosting potential.
  • Herpetosure Ecostat Solar
    The Ecostat solar has been developed to offer a solar power alternative for Bat roosts that are in remote or isolated locations. Three shires are able to model the anticipated power output generated by sunlight at the site location and construct a system that delivers the desired performance through the maternity season.
  • Heat lofts
    Three Shires can supply pre-prepared thermostatically controlled heating elements. These offer the same control as the Ecostat 2 but can be attached to rafters in open roof space. It provides a supplementary mitigation solution where loss of a breeding roost to development is unavoidable.
  • Bespoke Bat Roosts and boxes
    Three Shires are able to design, build and erect custom bat roosts and boxes to your exact requirements. These bespoke boxes can be designed according to species, population size and budget. We are often asked to develop vermin proof additions to heated boxes to remove the risk of infestation.

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