Saving slow-worms – a protected species
Urban Green’s Ecology team are down in Somerset this week, working on a site where a new supermarket is to be created on a re-developed industrial site in the town of Chard. A crucial condition of planning permission being granted was that the small population of slow-worms were caught and safely moved to the local reservoir nature reserve. The developer for the site has worked with Urban Green for several years and contacted our ecologists to ask for help.
Our first step was to make the site secure around the perimeter (to stop any slow-worms entering/leaving the site) and set traps up. On checking the traps yesterday, we found our first two worms, not a large number given the usual population of slow-worms in this area of Britain, but a positive sign that the traps are working and we will be able to safely move the slow-worms from site.
Ecologist Natasha Seaward explained what’s involved:
“As the name suggests, slow-worms don’t move fast and are easy to handle. Any caught are carefully placed into a cloth bag and transported to their new habitat promptly. We’ll continue to visit the site daily and after a minimum of 7 consecutive visits with nothing found, can declare our work done and the slow-worms safely translocated.
It’s been interesting for us personally to work with slow-worms, what’s an ordinary sight for naturalists in the south west is much rarer for those of use based further north.”
Why are slow-worms protected?
Slow-worms are protected by law in Great Britain against being deliberately killed, injured or sold/traded in any way.
What do I do if I find a slow-worm?
If you have slow-worms on your land, property or development site then we can help. Contact our Ecology team on: firstname.lastname@example.org or 0161 397 4958.