A fair-way to protect new visitors - The Evesham Observer

A fair-way to protect new visitors

Evesham Editorial 2nd Apr, 2018   0

A PERSHORE golf club will receiving some new visitors later this year as it welcomes hundreds of grass snakes and slow worms relocated from nearby Drakes Broughton, along with a host of other new wildlife.

The new reptile-friendly habitat created on the 300-acre Vale Golf and Country Club is the result of a partnership between housebuilder Bovis Homes, environmental consultants EDP, ecological landscapers Three Shires Ltd and the club.

The 10-year project, which is being funded by Bovis Homes, will see areas of the course transformed with new wildflower meadows, woodland rides and glades, and the installation of bird, bat and insect hibernation boxes.

Designed by EDP, the new enriched habitat will be delivered by Three Shires.

“The work taking place at the Vale Golf and Country Club is an extraordinary undertaking,” says Mark Slater, land director for Bovis Homes’ Western region.

“These enhancements will create the perfect home for the slow worms and grass snakes, and will also attract other wildlife. The golf club will be a haven for all sorts of creatures and the new features, such as wildflower habitats and hibernation boxes, which will bring colour and new attractions for visitors.”

“The reptile translocation project at the Vale offers the opportunity to protect not only the local grass snake and slow worm population, but also brings a number of benefits to local biodiversity,” said James Bird, principal ecologist at EDP.

“The enhancement works needed at the Vale to ready the site for the translocation will see the creation of a new woodland ride system with open glades and scalloped edges, with new wildflower meadows created throughout the woodland and in existing rough ground on the course.

“We will be creating new places for wildlife to breed, hibernate and forage throughout the course by installing reptile log piles and shelters, 20 bird boxes, including a barn owl nest box, 20 bat boxes and 10 invertebrate habitat boxes.

Mark Heath, course manager at The Vale Golf and Country Club, said: “The club is delighted to have been chosen to provide habitat for the relocation of the reptiles. We are ideally situated to provide an environment that is safe and in keeping with the natural habitats in which these creatures currently reside.

“We are proud to have been selected by Bovis Homes to help with the project and are enthusiastic about the long-term prospects that this will provide for the course.

“By working together with Bovis Homes, EDP and Three Shires, we are able to support our own conservation policy and preservation of the environment for many years to come.”

Work is due to start this month, with the translocation of the slow worms and grass snakes starting in April.

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