This report provides the results of a terrestrial invertebrate survey in light of Natural England’s proposal to enlarge the Mucking Flats and Marshes Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) to recognise the national importance of a series of habitats and the species they support. This report describes and assesses the terrestrial invertebrate features of ecological value found on the survey area. The survey area was a landfill site west of Coalhouse Fort. The surveys were undertaken using pitfall traps with a total of 24 traps set out, eight rows of three pitfall traps each. During a walkover survey, additional techniques were used including: sweep netting, aerial netting, beating tray, grubbing and direct searching.
It is noted that no investigation can ensure the complete characterisation and prediction of the natural environment and that natural and semi-natural habitats are subject to change, so the results of this report may become less reliable over time. The long dry summer may have affected the terrestrial invertebrate species and numbers present on site during the survey as some vegetation was showing signs of having flowered early and set seed or was suffering from the lack of water. Therefore, their ability to support the typical range and number of species may have been reduced.
Thirty three invertebrate species were recorded during the daytime terrestrial survey. Of these, two are protected and/or notable, the brown-banded carder bee Bombus humilis and the small heath butterfly Coenonympha pamphilus. A further 90 species were recorded in the pitfall traps across all sites.