Slow worms steal the show
Developer Taylor Wimpey found legless lizards were the star attraction during a special lesson in wildlife conservation for pupils at a primary school in Staplehurst.
Pupils meet slow worms at Staplehurst Primary School
Ecologist Dr Aidan Marsh brought in a number of slow worms to Staplehurst Primary School to help explain to pupils the lengths the housebuilder has gone to, to ensure reptiles and amphibians are protected when they are discovered on land earmarked for residential development.
The slow worms had been captured by Dr Marsh and his team of experts from CSa Environmental Planning at a site off Oliver Road, Staplehurst, which Taylor Wimpey is planning to develop.
CSa Environmental Planning has been appointed by Taylor Wimpey to ensure slow worms, lizards and great crested newts on the site are protected.
Joanna Webb, senior land and planning manager for Taylor Wimpey, who accompanied Dr Marsh during the school visit, says: “We spoke to the children about the reptiles and amphibians we have found at the Oliver Road site, and the large amount of work we undertake to ensure species such as slow worms, common lizards and great crested newts are protected before we start developing land.
“The slow worms, which are in fact a type of legless lizard, really captured the pupils’ imagination, and I was really surprised at how many of the children had seen slow worms in their own gardens!
“Hopefully our talk has reinforced the importance of wildlife conservation in the UK, which is something we take incredibly seriously at Taylor Wimpey.”
Deputy headteacher at the school, Sarah Friend, adds: “We were delighted to welcome Dr Marsh and Joanna – and of course the slow worms – to our school, for what was an incredibly interesting lesson.
“The children were very interested to learn that we are lucky enough to have all sorts of fabulous creatures in our village, and were delighted to discover so much is being done to ensure they are protected.”
Taylor Wimpey received planning permission from Maidstone Borough Council to build 53 high-quality homes on the land south of Oliver Road in the spring.
More than two-thirds of the site, some 7.5 acres, will be occupied by a nature conservation area comprising a semi-wild landscape, with mature woodland, meadows, wildflower areas and mown footpaths.
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