“Thanks to this thoughtless, inconsiderate and uneducated choice of clearance it has wiped out not just these populations of reptile but also an important co-existing ecosystem for all the other species and, due to this mismanagement, will obviously take many, many years before anything thrives there again.”
These habitat restoration works at a site of special scientific interest clearly do not follow best practice for managing sites that are known to support important reptile populations. As a professional ecological consultant that advises Natural England and industry on the legality of works affecting reptile habitat, I must admit to being shocked and highly disappointed by what has occurred here. The fact that NE only revised their plans in response to comments made by the public strikes me as being highly unprofessional. The works may have resulted in individual animals being killed and that would be unlawful. Since the impact of large scale habitat works such as these are of real concern to those of us who undertake reptile conservation, I believe that it is in the public interest to inform the police to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to consider a prosecution.