As part of a planning application on the vacant Arborfield Mill site in Helpston, on the outskirts of Peterborough, we undertook ecology inspections and discovered a group of common lizards – a protected species under the 1981 Wildlife & Countryside Act – on the site.
A detailed reptile survey was conducted to determine the size and extent of the lizard colony, which revealed only a small number of the lizards occupied a small portion of the site, and were likely to have migrated from their natural habitat on adjoining land along the railway corridor after industrial activity on the site ceased.
To ensure none of the reptiles were harmed during development works, a small-scale habitat manipulation was undertaken to return the lizards to their natural habitat, and a temporary fence erected to prevent their return. A subsequent survey at the end of the project confirmed the success of the project and the site as vacant.
Linden Homes Midlands’ head of technical and environment champion, Gary Martin, said: “We always endeavour to ensure our developments do not adversely affect the environment, and these works in Helpston are evidence of our commitment to protecting local species.”
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