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Landscape planting 'buffers'

Landscape planting ‘buffers’ are vegetated features of developments which provide a semi-permeable barrier from the development (or parts of a development) from a sensitive area.


They are semi-permeable in the sense that some wildlife such as small mammals, common reptiles and amphibians can pass through and move along the features, however, they generally do not access for humans.

They are often linear features i.e. a scrub buffer along a woodland edge.

General recommendations:
  • Main component: native scrub or species-rich hedgerow;

  • Minor elements: species rich ground flora, ditches/swales

  • Other: plant it as wide as possible, scrub should be a minimum of 2m wide, wildlife-attracting planting to be planted alongside buffer (native species only).

  • Management: to be managed on ‘non-intervention’ principle, scrub or hedgerow management to be undertaken a maximum of once bi-annually.

  • Ideal buffers should be linked to other ecological features/enhancements such as ponds, bog gardens, hedgerows, tree lines, rockeries and hibernacula.

Advice of an ecologist and/or landscape architect to be sought as necessary.

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