We have undertaken projects to provide improved habitation for kingfishers, terns and reptiles. We also undertake survey work to assess the impact of non-native crayfish on the lake and the health of the deer population.
The numbers of lizards and snakes in Great Britain have declined, primarily due to habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation. Even on protected sites, they have not always been safe, as standard habitat management techniques do not always encourage reptiles to thrive.
One way of helping is the provision of hibernacula, or winter shelters, in which these reptiles can seek shelter, generally from October to February. A major requirement is that they are on sunny, south facing site, with good drainage and sufficiently deep to give a frost free environment.
We have constructed a hibernaculum on the northern edge of the Lakeside carpark, using drain pipes, concrete blocks, gravel and mulch, covered with soil, to create a bank. Hopefully, grass snakes and common lizards will take up residence.