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Nature Conservation and Parks Management of
Hounslow Heath Local Nature Reserve and Open
Space.
The London Borough of Hounslow (the Council) invites you to submit an expression of
interest for the services detailed above.
Please submit your expression of interest via londontenders.org.
By 1200 hrs on 19th May 2017 (19/05/2017). Expressions received after the deadline shall
not be considered.
If you have any clarifications regarding this exercise please submit your questions via the
messaging facility available on londontenders.org by 1200 hrs on 17th May 2017
(17/05/2017).
1.
Introduction
This document sets out the requirements for a Service Provider to undertake full time active
positive nature conservation and parks management of Hounslow Heath Local Nature
Reserve (LNR) and open space that will ultimately provide a better service for the local
community.
The council is seeking to implement a revised management model for Hounslow Heath that
aims to deliver nature conservation for both habitats and species as well as improve
community engagement and deliver traditional parks management.
2.
Background and Context
Hounslow Heath Local Nature Reserve and open space is located in the London Borough of
Hounslow at Grid Reference TQ125747. See figure one and two below.
Figure one: Location of Hounslow Heath (outlined in blue) in the London Borough of Hounslow.
Scale: 1:60000
Figure two: Hounslow Heath. Scale: 1:8000
The site is located between the communities of Hounslow and Feltham. The A312 Staines
Road runs along the northern boundary of the site whilst the southern boundary is formed by
the railway line from Waterloo to Staines. The site visitor centre (currently not open to the
public) and car park are situated in the north east corner of the site where the A312 meets
Frampton Road. The site is 81.95 hectares in total including an area of 2 hectares which is
known as The Fairground Site that is excluded from the Local Nature Reserve designation.
The primary land uses on Hounslow Heath LNR are nature conservation and informal
recreation. The latter consists mainly of walking and dog exercise, nature study, jogging,
cycling and horse riding.
Hounslow Heath was declared a statutory Local Nature Reserve (under the National Parks
and Access to the Countryside Act, 1949) in 1991. It is also classified as a Site of Importance
for Nature Conservation (SINC) and designated as a Site of Metropolitan Importance (SMI)
for wildlife by the London Ecology Unit (Pape 1990) and retained as such under a review
completed in 2012 by the Council and the Greater London Authority. This evaluation was
adopted by London Borough of Hounslow within its Local Plan and protected under Policy
GB7: Biodiversity. Note that the revised management model will only cover the portion of the
SINC outlined above in figure one and two. It will not cover Hounslow Heath Golf Course
(which is also part of the whole SINC). However advice and guidance may be sort from the
service provider from time to time.
Hounslow Heath is an extensive area of acid and neutral grassland, with developing
heathland where restoration has encouraged natural regeneration of heather (Calluna
vulgaris). Rare plants of heathland and acid grassland include bell heather (Erica cinerea),
dwarf gorse (Ulex minor), petty whin (Genista anglica), dyer's greenweed (Genista tinctoria),
heath rush (Juncus squarrosus), heath-grass (Danthonia decumbens) and mat-grass
(Nardus stricta). There are also important moss and lichen communities. Breeding birds
include linnet, skylark, reed bunting and abundant whitethroat, and a variety of passage and
wintering species are also regularly recorded. This is also an important site for protected
reptiles, with four species present. The invertebrate fauna is diverse, and includes numerous
local and nationally scarce species. There are several ponds supporting typical wetland
plants and animals, and small areas of marginal scrub and woodland.
This is currently one of London's few sites managed through a conservation grazing
programme. Hounslow Heath was part of a High Level Environmental Stewardship
Agreement funded by Natural England which covered restoration and management of
heathland, grassland and scrub communities. This came to an end in 2016 and will need to
be reviewed.
Hounslow Heath is owned by the London Borough of Hounslow. The grounds maintenance
management of the boroughs parks, open spaces and countryside sites is currently
outsourced and delivered by Carillion Integrated Services on behalf of Hounslow Council.
The management of countryside sites differs from that of the parks sites and this is due to
the high level nature conservation value of these sites and the type of services they provide
to the local community. Due to the high ecological value of the site, Hounslow Heath is one
of the countryside sites that requires a revised management model that will deliver active
positive nature conservation management focusing in the first instance on Heathland
restoration and acid grassland management.
Under section 40 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006, the London
Borough of Hounslow has an obligation to manage the site with due regard to conservation
of biodiversity. In order to fulfil this obligation and deliver active positive nature conservation
and habitat management (e.g. heathland restoration) the council would like to explore a
range of management models and opportunities that will improve the LNR and open space in
terms of nature and provide a better service for the people across the borough.
3.
Scope
The Council requires the Service Provider to develop and present a revised management
model which if approved by the authority, they will implement. The management plan be
reviewed annually by the Project Board.
The management will cover the period 2017 to April 2020
4.
Proposal and Requirements
The council requires a service provider with proven expertise both in the field
conservation and habitat management (in particular extensive experience in
restoration, acid grassland management), community engagement, delivering
parks management as well as significant experience of identifying and securing
funding to deliver improved visitor experience.
of nature
heathland
traditional
additional
The successful applicant will need to be able to demonstrate their ability to proceed quickly
and with minimal input from the council.
The service provider will draft the management plan for the site and once approved by the
council they will seek to implement it and deliver targets outlined in the following documents:
the adopted management plan, Hounslow Biodiversity Action Plan, Leisure Strategy and any
others that the council feels appropriate.
The Service Provider should ensure that the proposed revised management model
incorporates the following points:
-
-
1
Focuses on delivering positive active nature conservation and habitat management of
the key habitats and species on site such as Lowland Heath and Acid Grassland,
Invasive Species as well as others identified in the Hounslow Biodiversity Action
Plan1.
This will involve presenting a suitable methodology which should involve data
collection and annual monitoring of key habitats and species, mapping of habitats and
identifying actions within the management plan that will ultimately deliver habitat
restoration in particular heathland.
Actively recruiting and engaging with volunteers and the local community (Friends of
Hounslow Heath and other Parks Groups and other users e.g. The Conservation
Volunteers) to deliver nature conservation.
Identify proposals to seek and secure further funding to deliver long term habitat
restoration on site and park improvements ultimately improving the visitor experience.
Deliver traditional parks management this will include managing parks pathways,
signage, litter collection etc.
Hounslow Biodiversity Action Plan - http://www.hounslow.gov.uk/biodiversity_action_plan_oct13.pdf