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Behind the unique hibernacula at Brickworth

A hibernacula

Raymond Brown team successfully relocates reptiles and amphibians to dedicated safe refuge

WITHIN the last six months, all amphibians and reptiles at Raymond Brown’s Brickworth Quarry at Whiteparish, near Salisbury, Wiltshire, have been translocated to a dedicated space known as ‘Area A Reptile Mitigation Area’, which includes a pond, hibernaculas and hedgerow.

The area was constructed and is being managed by Jason Martin, quarry manager, Karl Reed, assistant quarry manager, and Mark Renault, environmental permitting manager.

The hibernaculas were created by removing an area of topsoil and digging a hole about 50cm deep and 1.5m across. These were filled with bricks, logs and branches, leaving gaps in between, with the soil placed back on top.

Offering a safe refuge for the relocated amphibians and reptiles, the hibernaculas provide a warm hibernation spot through the cold winter months and lots of places for solitary bees and other insects to hide.

This year, the mitigation area will be further developed to include basking and breeding areas for reptiles.

Raymond Brown, who are committed to delivering biodiversity net gain, say the hibernaculas have been so successful at Brickworth Quarry that the team is now looking to construct them at both Binnegar Quarry and Roke Manor Quarry, under the expert supervision of Karl Reed.

The site team is also investigating other types of hibernacula, including one which utilizes both tree stumps and logs on site to encourage a broader range of species.

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