A338 mitigation under way

Following an extensive reptile survey of the A338's roadside verges, CGO Ecology Ltd is working with Dorset County Council and Natural England on a plan to protect reptiles. The 10.5-km stretch of dual carriageway from Ashley Heath to Cooper Dean roundabout is due for major rebuilding works in 2010, and the roadside habitats support rare reptiles protected by law. DCC has commissioned CGO Ecology as its advisors on reptile conservation issues. The spring 2009 survey identified that reptiles are absent from Blackwater to Cooper Dean, but they are widespread along the verges from Ashley Heath to Blackwater. Sand lizards and smooth snakes were found along several stretches, and mitigation is required to rescue these and other reptiles before the works commence. The tree felling associated with the works will actually improve reptile populations eventually, but during the works themselves, the reptiles will have to be moved to nearby sites specially prepared for them.