The Thames Road Wetland was created as part of a 'mitigation' deal in respect of a brownfield re-development nearby at Maiden Lane. Hibernacula creation was part of the spec, but we'd given up on this. But lo and behold, no sooner had I accepted an invitation to be TRW 'Project Manager' than the contractors gave my 'boss' Ashe Hurst a couple of days notice (with no consultation about methodology) that they were going to do the intallation after all.
Ashe asked them to leave my lizard basking installations alone (see 10th March posting) and pointed out that I had recently discovered Star of Bethlehem on part of the south-facing bank.
So what happens? 1 of the 5 basking structures disappeared completely (presumed buried) and 3 were scattered about, including one nowhere near the 'hibernacula'.
Here's the scene shortly afterwards:
i) All three 'hibernacula' (part-buried piles of bricks) were embedded in the south-facing slope. In my view constructing hibernacula where there will be the greatest swings in temperature is the wrong thing to do. I haven't looked into it, and there may not be much research anyway, but logic suggests that hibernating species are not going to want to be caught out by being 'woken up' during the winter by a short burst of 'artificially' warm conditions. IF I HAD BEEN CONSULTED I would have asked for these structures to be put on the east bank, for this and other reasons
ii) Gratuitous destruction of basking sites I'd spent some hours gathering material for and working on - thanks (not)!
iii) Star of Bethlehem have died back, but probably a third of the population destroyed. Thanks again (not)
iv) The bricks were said to be used ones. If so they had clearly been cleaned up and were in good nick. Most looked suitable for re-use in building work. On the other hand a pile of demolition rubble was available down at the site for which TRW was created in 'mitigation', so whose lack of imagination and joined-up thinking was responsible for not using that instead?
Moral - don't work with amateurs.