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Buxton and Biodiversity

Protecting the Slow Worms on our mutli-million-pound project in Bellingham.

Slow worms are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981, meaning it is an offence to kill, injure or sell them. Like much of the UK’s wildlife, they are threatened by habitat loss.

The slow worm is neither a worm nor a snake, but is, in fact, a legless lizard - its identity is given away by its abilities to shed its tail and blink with its eyelids. Slow worms can be found in heathland, tussocky grassland, woodland edges and rides where they can find invertebrates to eat and a sunny patch in which to sunbathe. They are often found in mature gardens and allotments, where they like hunting around the compost heap.

We have implemented typical mitigation measures by:

  • careful design of development and location of infrastructure to avoid loss or damage of reptile habitat and maintaining connectivity between blocks of habitat;

  • timing works to avoid the period when reptiles may be hibernating (October-March);

  • use of fencing to prevent reptiles moving into areas where they could be killed or injured;

  • altering habitat to displace reptiles from areas where they could be killed or injured (eg. careful strimming of grassland to a short sward) - provided there is a suitable safe area nearby that they can easily move to; The safe location at the rear of the site, created with “hands on” help from of our Project manager Rudi Cone.

Buxton have been appointed by Phoenix Community Housing, a not-for-profit resident-led housing association based in south London, to develop a back garden infill development on the historic Bellingham Estate.

The scheme involves the demolition of all existing buildings and structures at 56-60 Farmstead Road SE6 and the construction of 3, three-storey blocks to provide 24 self-contained flats (16 x 2 Bed & 8 x 3 Bed) together with all associated works including the provision of hard and soft landscaping, refuse storage, 48 cycle parking, 5 car parking spaces, installation of an electricity substation, ancillary works, and the creation of access onto Farmstead Road.

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