Continuing its commitment to safeguarding cherished wildlife at its sites, Aggregate Industries is undertaking another major conservation project at its Isle of Grain terminal in Kent, after embarking on a programme to relocate a number of reptile species.
With this flagship terminal comprising 40 acres of rich habitat and home to over 260 species of mammals, birds, invertebrates and reptiles, the leading construction materials supplier temporarily relocated dozens of water voles ahead of a substantial renovation of the site earlier on in the year.
Taking every possible measure to lessen the impact modification works may have on local wildlife, Aggregate also started a capture scheme this August to safely migrate reptiles, such as grass snakes and common lizards, to a dedicated receptor site close by, which will become their new home.
To guarantee the reptiles are captured as efficiently as possible, the process involves deploying 1400 artificial refugia ‘tins’ across the site, which are left for two weeks to ‘bed in’ – all tins are then checked for reptiles twice daily for a minimum of 30 days.
Each check is carried out at appropriate times of the days, with the optimum weather conditions for reptile surveying being temperatures between 10°C and 17°C, intermittent or hazy sunshine and little or no wind.
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.
The incredible effort and commitment of the Aggregate team and all those involved has meant all reptiles are expected to be successfully relocated to their new home by this month.
Reflecting Aggregate’s unrelenting support for safeguarding the ecology on the Isle of Grain area, this latest conservation project cost more than £425,000, with the company investing £625,000 to date.
Phil Daniels, Construction Manager at Aggregate Industries, commented: “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.”
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