Ridgewood Farm, Uckfield


Project Update – February 2024

Integrated green infrastructure design – delivering for people and wildlife

Habitat creation and enhancement providing opportunities for Great Crested Newts, dormice, badgers and other wildlife are being delivered as part of the landscape and ecological enhancements designed by CSA Environmental, on behalf of Taylor Wimpey UK Ltd, at Ridgewood Farm in Uckfield.

Phase 1 of construction is nearly complete with CSA overseeing the delivery of new habitats on site, and completing landscape and ecological auditing/monitoring to ensure successful delivery and management.

Delivered to date:

  • An open space/Green Infrastructure strategy enabled by a joined-up approach by the CSA Ecology & Landscape teams.
  • Protected species surveys to inform suitable mitigation/enhancement strategies, and preparation of detailed Landscape Planting Plans pursuant to the Reserved Matters Planning application.
  • A Wildlife Management Plan and a Landscape and Ecology Management Plan that helped successfully discharge the related planning conditions.
  • Preparation of European Protected Species (EPS) Licence applications in relation to dormice and Great Crested Newt.
  • Provision of Ecological Clear of Works (ECoW) for works in proximity to important ecological features (e.g. watercourses, hedgerows & trees)
  • Successful implementation mitigation and monitoring as agreed under the EPS licences/Wildlife Management Plan.

Biodiversity update:

  • Lots of new planting has already been installed and is establishing well.
  • The drainage basins are maturing nicely, which should provide some new habitat for Great Crested Newt and other local wildlife, alongside an enhanced on-site pond.
  • The boundary vegetation has been retained and protected during construction, to continue to provide habitat for dormice and badger.

Project Background:

Planning Stage

Outline planning consent was granted for the wider site and necessary foul drainage upgrade works. CSA’s production of a Wildlife Management Plan and a Landscape and Ecology Management Plan resulted in the successful discharge of the related planning conditions, enabling Reserved Matters consent for Phase 1A and 1B to be gained, in addition to full planning permission for the foul drainage works and construction of two new access roads.


CSA undertook a review of existing survey data and carried out updated protected species surveys including dormice and great crested newt (GCN) assessments to establish the baseline conditions at the site and potential impacts of development. The ecological surveys revealed populations of GCN breeding in ponds within and close to the wider development site, in addition to dormice utilising on-site woodland and hedgerow habitats. CSA designed a landscape scheme which factored in the specific requirements for the development and the necessities imposed by the presence of GCN and dormice.

The survey results were used to inform suitable mitigation and site enhancement strategies as outlined in the Management Plans and prepare the necessary Protected Species Licences. A dormouse masterplan was developed along with a European Protected Species (EPS) licence for the access phase, agreed by Natural England. In October 2017 works commenced under this licence in order to facilitate construction of the two new access roads.

A GCN masterplan was also developed along with two separate GCN EPS licences for the development phase and the foul drainage works. Once the GCN licences have been agreed with Natural England, CSA will continue to provide ecological guidance and implement the licence requirements and recommendations outlined in the management plans, as the development progresses.

A thorough and multi-disciplinary approach

CSA’s ecology and landscape teams’ joint involvement in this project has ensured a collaborative approach to delivering an appropriate open space / Green Infrastructure strategy for the new development. The strategy incorporates measures to retain and enhance the sites existing landscape assets, including the Ridgewood Stream corridor which will form a focal point within the open space network.  Interventions include the creation of new grassland and wetland habitats, woodland and tree planting and the improved management of existing landscape features which will generally improve the biodiversity value of the site’s open spaces.  In addition, new footpaths / cycleways and play areas will provide a recreational resource for the new community.

The first stage of development commenced in February 2018 .