What IS a slow-worm? Children learn about the animals the Trust protects
This Easter break, Watford Community Housing Trust and conservation experts Urban Wildlife teamed up to teach local children about the types of wildlife that need to be protected when building new homes.
The children of Yorke Mead Junior School’s Holiday Club were treated to an educational talk by Louise from Urban Wildlife, who brought along a collection of slow-worms that had been found on our Tolpits Lane development site. Urban Wildlife are overseeing the works to make sure wildlife is protected during the development programme, which is being delivered by our contractor Jarvis on behalf of Hart Homes – Watford Community Housing Trust’s joint venture with Watford Borough Council.
The children were allowed to handle these unusual creatures in order to learn all about them. Despite their name, they are neither slow nor worms, and they aren’t snakes either. They are, in fact, a type of legless lizard! They live in grassland and woodland, and can often be found where there’s a sunny spot to catch some rays.
Slow worms are one of the most common animals found when surveying the land to get it ready for development, and sadly their numbers are declining. To help prevent extinction, slow worms are now protected by law, so it is illegal to cause them any harm. When starting any building work, the Trust and our contractors ask ecologists to check that the land doesn’t contain any protected wildlife. When slow-worms are found, we can remove them from their habitat into a safe place until the work is completed, when they can be released back into the familiar area.
We would like to thank Louise from Urban Wildlife, Jarvis and everyone at Yorke Mead school for helping this great event come to life.