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Philodromus praedatus
find out more... Philodromus praedatus Copyright: Peter Harvey

Essex Field Club
Essex Field Club
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EFC Centre at Wat Tyler Country ParkWe are normally open to the public at our centre at Wat Tyler Country Park every Saturday, Sunday and bank holiday 11am-4pm. We are also open on Wednesdays 10am-4pm.
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Brownfield site assessment help

Plant and flower diversity
Plant and flower diversity are important features of brownfield sites of nature conservation importance - many invertebrate species are phytogenous and feed on or inside leaves, stems, fruits and seeds, or are predators or parasitic on phytogenous species. Different species are usually associated with particular plants, so a diversity and continuity of phytogenous resources are important. The plant species involved are often common and widespread, but no longer occur in the wider countryside in the abundance required to support populations of insects, and they may include ruderals or 'weedy' species.

Adult insects forage on nectar and pollen, and many species are associated with particular plants. Diversity, abundance and continuity of forage throughout the spring and summer is therefore another important factor.

Examples of diverse and flower rich brownfield habitat
Mill Wood Pit flower-rich Copyright: Peter HarveyMill Wood-flowerrich detail Copyright: Peter Harvey
Canvey Wick flower-rich 1 Copyright: Peter HarveySwanscombe peninsula Copyright: Peter Harvey
Corys Wharf-Lotus glaber area Copyright: Peter HarveyWest Thurrock PFA North Lagoon-flower rich Copyright: Peter Harvey

Vegetation present and vegetation types
These provide an idea of what structural variety is present at a site. The double tick boxes work so that you tick one if the vegetation or vegetation type is present, both boxes if there is a greater quantity present - this is by design very approximate, to allow for sight from a boundary or to give a rough idea that can, if necessary, be followed up in the future. The plant categories obviously require a certain degree of identification skill.

Bare ground (this doesn't need to be present in large quantities)
Mill Wood Pit sand faces Copyright: Peter HarveyWThurrock PFA-S distinguendus habitat Copyright: Peter Harvey
East Tilbury-footpath nesting area Copyright: Peter HarveyCanvey sand mound Copyright: Peter Harvey

Sparse vegetation (left) and creeping herb (right, in the foreground)
MillWood slope Copyright: Peter HarveyUnilever site Copyright: Peter Harvey

Lichen/bryophyte 'heath'
Littlebrook Lakes-lichen heath Copyright: Peter HarveyEast Tilbury lichen heath Copyright: Peter Harvey

Tall herb
Lymington Fields Copyright: Peter HarveyWestThurrock PFA-North Lagoon flower-rich Copyright: Peter Harvey

Invertebrates and invertebrate potential
As can be seen from pages such as Brownfield importance and Assessment of value of brownfield sites the best sites are usually those where habitats are a complex mosaic, structurally diverse and with flower-rich grasslands as well as bare ground, sparsely vegetated areas, lichen heath and ruderal vegetation. If your site has features such as these, then it will have high invertebrate potential.

If there is doubt about how to complete parts of the form, pictures of features can be uploaded to provide additional information about a site.

Brownfield Habitat Assessment Form