Major building works planned at Seaford College, West Sussex, have necessitated the translocation of a population of slow-worms. The school has an impressive walled garden, thought to be Elizabethan, which is somewhat overgrown around the edges. This currently provides ideal habitat for a population of slow-worms.
The building works will involve construction of a new boys' boarding block on part of the walled garden, and returning another part to formal gardens. Together with removal of rubble piles below crumbling walls, these works mean that the slow-worms will have to be moved to a new home.
CGO Ecology Ltd has been instructed to capture and translocate the slow-worms. Their new home is a meadow and associated hedgerow currently managed for haylage, within the College grounds. A survey showed that slow-worms are absent from the hedgerow, and in any case, leaving the grass uncropped from now on will greatly increase the site's carrying capacity.