After working with McArdle on a number of road schemes such as the M1 Widening Junctions 6-10 and the M25 Widening at Heathrow, CDTS were selected as the specialist seeding contractor for this project. The A3 Bypass also included the new tunnel under the Devil’s Punchbowl, meaning that the old A3 could be removed from this SSSI area and restored using locally harvested seed.
The contract commenced in 2007 with the seeding of grass on some initial areas but more importantly with the instigation of a phased programme of seed collection from local heathland donor sites using CDTS brush seed harvester. This involved the harvesting of both acid grassland species and heather, which were subsequently hydroseeded onto both areas alongside the new A3 and onto the line of the old A3. As the contract progressed through 2007-2010, the seeding programme also saw large reinforced slopes hydroseeded with fast-established grass mixtures, plus the conventional seeding of a variety of site-specific native wildflower mixtures, carefully chosen to suit the very sandy woodland soils. Once sown, a maintenance schedule of weed control was instigated to keep the invasion of gorse at bay.
2011 saw the opening of the road and tunnel, which then allowed the restoration of the Devil’s Punchbowl section of the old A3. Areas were hydroseeded using seed collected from the previous 4 years, combined with the collection of heather cuttings from Hindhead Common. these were subsequently spread onto areas on the old A3 sited within the SSSI, thus allowing the regeneration of heather and other species in an area of high scenic value.