Aggregate Industries is spending £425,000 relocating reptiles from its Isle of Grain terminal site in Kent.
This is on top of £200,000 it spent rehoming water voles earlier this year.
Aggregate Industries’ Isle of Grain terminal covers 40 acres of habitat that is home to more than 260 species of mammals, birds, invertebrates and reptiles. The conservation initiatives are paving the way for an extensive renovation of the site.
Reptiles such as grass snakes and common lizards are being moved to a dedicated receptor site nearby, which will be their new home.
To ensure the reptiles are captured as efficiently as possible, the process involves deploying 1400 artificial refugia ‘tins’ across the site and are left for two weeks to bed in. All tins are then checked for reptiles twice a day for a minimum of 30 days.
Surveyors check the tins on consecutive days until the trapping period is complete, with the capture programme continuing until there are five clear days where no reptiles are found.
Construction manager Phil Daniels said: “As a business that takes its ecological responsibility incredibly seriously, protecting the local wildlife and eco-system has been the number one priority before we begin work on our Isle of Grain terminal.
“After carrying out a full assessment of the land, a number of diverse species of mammals, reptiles and birds have been identified including grass snakes and common lizards.
“Following the successful relocation of the area’s water voles earlier this year, we wanted to implement a similar programmes for reptiles to keep them out of harm’s way.
“Although it’s a lengthy and exhaustive ongoing process, it’s well worth it and it has been wonderful to see the reptiles safely arrive in their new home.”