Slow worms 'killed' on Bath development site

Dead slow worm allegedly killed by the tractor. Credit: Martin Crook

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?

Martin Crook, Resident

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. 

The slow worm is protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, which makes it illegal to deliberately kill, injure or sell the species. Credit: Martin Crook

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.

The nature reserve in Bath that has been earmarked for 37 homes. Credit: ITV News West Country