Reptile Heaps
The idea of creating compost heaps grew out of the need to find a practical method of disposing of large quantities of grass clippings generated from the changes in the way in which we manage the grassland at Alton. Wildlife really benefits from less frequent mowing and a reduction in nutrient levels that occurs by removing the clippings. This allows the establishment of a more species rich meadow that is not dominated by a few of the more aggressive grass species. Grass Snake
Lizard Although much of the grass is baled and sent off-site for animal fodder all the clippings from the wildflower meadow are piled into heaps and left to compose. The area we have chosen is of low conservational value as it had been used as a dumping area during the construction of the reservoir in the 1970’s.
In addition it is also useful to add other waste including wood chips, pond vegetation and woodland brash. This provides a range of decomposition rates that reptiles can more fully exploit. A hedge was planted around the area to reduce disturbance and provide additional cover.Experiments with various covers have found corrugated iron sheets, black pond liners and old carpets to all be effective in attracting reptiles. Handful of Grass Snakes