With this flagship terminal made up of 40 acres of rich habitat and home to over 260 species of mammals, birds, invertebrates and reptiles, ahead of an extensive renovation of the site, earlier this year, the leading construction materials supplier temporarily rehomed dozens of water voles.
Taking every conceivable measure to reduce any impact the modification works may have on local wildlife, this August also saw Aggregate Industries commence a capture scheme to safely migrate reptiles such as grass snakes and common lizards 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.
Each check is undertaken 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.
Thanks to the immense effort and commitment of the Aggregate Industries team and all those involved, all reptiles are expected to be successfully relocated to their new home by early November.
Reflecting Aggregate Industries’ unrelenting support for safeguarding the ecology on the Isle of Grain area, this latest conservation project cost in excess of £425,000, with the company investing £625,000 to date.
Phil Daniels Construction Manager at Aggregate Industries, comments: “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.”