Badgers, bats and other beasts

Survey work is helping us fully understand the ecology and wildlife within the site area

Surveying the wildlife and ecology around the proposed Going Underground project area is an important part of the work we’re carrying out ahead of our planning application.

We’ve been working closely with Natural England, Wiltshire Council’s ecologist and the Wiltshire Mammal Group to make sure we fully understand what species of animals and plants are living and growing around the area. This will help to ensure we minimise our impact as much as we possibly can during construction.

We’ve already completed various surveys which have included assessments of badger setts and the potential for local populations of dormice, reptiles, great crested newt and bats.

In 2021 we will be undertaking further ecological assessments, particularly focusing on bats to ensure roosts are left undisturbed and that important ‘commuting’ corridors remain and are potentially enhanced.

The results of these surveys will help us to work out how the project will achieve biodiversity net gain – increasing biodiversity overall by the end of the construction and restoration of the site.

We will also be carefully removing the pylon that stands at the edge of the Roundway Down and Covert Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The site is home to over 30 species of butterfly including the rare Adonis Blue, Duke of Burgundy and White-Letter Hairstreak and removing the pylon should create some opportunities for further improving habitats.