Archive of: grass snake

Reptile Survey and Mitigation Guidance for Peatland Habitats Published!

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Reptile Survey and Mitigation Guidance for Peatland Habitats Published!

A new guidance document for reptile survey and mitigation in peatland habitats has been published by Amphibian & Reptile Groups of the UK (ARG UK), supported by Froglife, the Herpetological Society of Ireland (the HSI), and Amphibian & Reptile Conservation Trust (ARC Trust).  The publication of this document is significant, as there has long been a guidance vacuum for reptiles – this goes a small way to filling that gap.

All native reptile species are legally protected in the UK and Ireland, and so consideration should be given to mitigation to avoid committing an offence under the relevant nation-specific legislation (note that wildlife protection law is devolved and varies between individual UK countries).

The document, authored by Caledonian Conservation Ltd Director Chris Cathrine, focuses on Scotland where peatland habitats are extensive.  However, it could be applied to England, Wales, Northern Ireland, or Ireland where peatland habitats also occur.  The guidance is intended to assist in designing mitigation for impacts on reptiles during peatland restoration works but the methods described may also be suitable for the construction phase of some developments on these habitats.  Similarly, some of the approaches described could be adapted, with care, for reptiles occurring on other habitats.

The guidance provides information on peatland reptile ecology, potential impacts, survey methods, and approaches to mitigation to avoid harm to reptiles and construct hibernation features.  A decision tree flow chart is also provided, to help site managers to consider reptiles while planning works.

The new Reptile Survey and Mitigation Guidance for Peatland Habitats document can be downloaded at:


‘Amphibians & Reptiles of Scotland’ book published

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‘Amphibians & Reptiles of Scotland’ book published

A new book, ‘Amphibians & Reptiles of Scotland’, has been published.  This is the most comprehensive publication on Scotland’s herptiles (amphibians and reptiles) in recent history, including all details of ecology and distribution for all of our native species (including sea turtles) as well as introduced and vagrant species.  Chapters also cover conservation, legal protection, cultural connections, projects and development mitigation.

The principle authors, Chris McInerny (University of Glasgow) and Pete Minting (Amphibian & Reptile Conservation Trust) bring a wealth of experience, while guest authors bring particular expertise.  Chris Cathrine (Caledonian Conservation Ltd) prepared the grass snake and development mitigation sections, while David O’Brien (Scottish Natural Heritage) wrote the chapter on great crested newt.  All authors drew on a wide range of published sources, and information from other experts.

The book also boasts lavish colour photographs, distribution maps and a beautiful frontispiece by Chris Rose.

Caledonian Conservation Ltd is proud to have sponsored the production of this book, which is an excellent resource for professionals and interested members of the public alike.

The book is available in print, costing £27.50 (inclusive of postage within the UK) – contact Chris McInerny for details of how to order your copy (

The book can also be downloaded as a free PDF from the Glasgow Natural History Society website.


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