Residents in Bath say they were left horrified after a tractor allegedly killed a number of slow worms on land earmarked for housing.
Photos taken by local resident Martin Crook appear to show a number of dead slow worms, a legally protected species of lizard, at the site.
Being a protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act makes it illegal to deliberately kill, injure or sell the species.
I was sick, to see this sort of wildlife just chopped to pieces, in the face of development. It's horrendous. If we don't start protecting nature, what have we got?
37 homes are to be built on the nature reserve between Englishcombe and Odd Down, with provision in place to move the slow worms to another part of the site.
However, although work had begun to trap and relocate the reptiles, residents claim several were killed as a tractor and plough was removing vegetation last week.
Bath and North East Somerset Council say they are investigating the incident.