Nicholsons were delighted to assist with the development of a new holiday park close to the old RAF Kings Cliffe site in Northamptonshire. This development involved the skills from our ecology, arboriculture, and landscape teams with a brief to provide a luxury holiday experience well connected to nature and the local landscape.
The development site itself was an area of former grazing land and was considered to be of ecologically low value. However, the site was set between two blocks of ancient woodland, which were also Local Wildlife Sites and home to a variety of bird, bat, and invertebrate species. The wider park had been subject to a history of limestone quarrying and was a varied landscape of regenerating habitats surrounding deep gullies and lakes. The site was home to a healthy population of great crested newts as well as sensitive grassland habitats, which were also designated as Local Wildlife Sites.
Full suites of surveys covering habitats, protected species, tree risk and landscape visual impact were completed in support of the planning application. At the heart of this was an ecologically focused landscape design which incorporated the use of species rich hedgerows, grassland, and tree planting to enhance the existing site and also complement the surrounding habitat. This was supported by an ecological enhancement and management plan, which included prescriptions for the landscape planting as well as provisions for monitoring habitat establishment and species.
The development has now been in place for over 15 months and already the wildflower planting has taken hold and provided a summer of colour and pollinator activity. The grassland is not cut until late summer to provide maximum ecological benefit. The species rich hedgerows provide a mixture of sheltering and nesting opportunities as well as varied foraging resources for birds, invertebrates, and small mammals.
Work will continue on the management and monitoring of these habitats over the forthcoming years to assess the impact of the development within the surrounding landscape.
Holiday park website – https://rockinghamforestpark.co.uk/
Glenn Miller details – https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/glenn-miller-memorial-at-kings-cliffe-airfield