Heathland restoration project commences at M25 junction


Heathland around the M25's busiest junction in Surrey is to be restored as part of a new long-term project.

National Highways will remove trees and plant more diverse vegetation on the 25-ha site at Wisley and Ockham Commons, where junction 10 of the motorway meets the A3 in Surrey. The project will last 25 years with work having commenced on 4 September.

Dartford Warbler is one of the heathland specialists that breeds at Wisley and Ockham Commons (Nick Clayton).

Jonathan Wade, senior project manager, said: "Heathland is a diverse habitat, creating lots of homes for all kinds of animals, insects, reptiles, and birds."

Work at the junction has been a touch controversial so far, with heavy clearance of trees and other vegetation. However, the new project plans to reintroduce plants such as heather, bell heather, gorse, wood sage and wavy hair-grass. Underpasses and protective netting will help amphibians, with bat boxes also being installed.

Planting around the junction, through which 300,000 vehicles a day pass, will take several years, and National Highways said it will need to monitor and manage the site for up to 25 years.