A reptile translocation project requiring site specific solutions

We worked with our client, an ecological consultancy, on a site in Surrey where new houses were soon to be built. Ecology surveys showed that there was a large number of reptiles present on the site, so a reptile translocation programme was done to remove them before development works could start.

We supplied and installed 675m of semi-permanent fencing. As the fence was to remain in situ during construction of the new houses, we proposed a 1mm thickness to reduce the likelihood of damage to the fence during this time.

We cleared large areas of dense vegetation, and chipped the arisings. Some of the works were done under an ecological watching brief.

We installed five log hibernacula. They were partially dug into the ground to prevent damage from deer or other animals. Soil and turf were piled on top of each log pile to protect against frost, improving their longevity.

The project was finished within the agreed timeframe and budget, but a few situations arose throughout the project which required some site specific solutions. For example, a badger sett was spotted, so activity ceased within 30m of the sett and the site ecologist alerted. The works within 30m of the sett were then completed under an ecological watching brief.

Small machinery was used on areas of the site due to the water level being just below the surface. Bog mats were used in very wet areas.

The fence line crossed two ditches, so at these locations we continued the fence across the top of the ditch, and installed wire mesh beneath it to allow for a continuous flow of water but still to prevent reptiles entering the construction area.

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