Whilst undertaking surveying work in preparation for the forth-coming site activities at Bognor, a number of Slow-Worms were discovered basking in the cool environment of the troughing route.
Realising that the find could be protected under legislation the team on site immediately notified the HSQE department who instructed Keystone Environmental Services to undertake a complete Ecology Survey on the area and suggest suitable mitigation solutions.
Despite Slow-Worms looking very much like a snake they are in fact a legless lizard and are protected under the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981. It is an offence to:
The maximum fine on conviction of offences is currently £5000.
A Keystone Environmental Services Consultant Ecologist surveyed the site, presented site management with a method statement and delivered a toolbox talk / demonstration to the project team. This provided tips and hints on where the reptiles may be found and information to enable key personnel to humanely catch, store and relocate and Slow-Worms and other reptiles that may be discovered in order to minimise disturbance during the cable replacement works.
The day was a great success and further strengthens VolkerRail´s ongoing commitment to its environmental responsibilities under its certification to ISO 14001:2004.