Newts on the move as Dray's '¨dyke protected

A developer has been working to protect one of Luton's oldest monuments '“ as well as re-homing some existing inhabitants '“ at its Turnpike Edge development.

North of the development lies a number of heritage sites which date back to the Bronze and Iron Ages, which include ancient burial mounds and route ways. The most notable of these is Dray’s Ditches – a scheduled monument possibly used to control traffic during the Bronze Age.

In order to prevent any disturbance to the monument, Taylor Wimpey has created a 25-metre buffer zone between Dray’s Ditches and its Turnpike Edge development. The northern fence of the development runs alongside the start of the buffer zone and prevents any access to the site from that end. The housebuilder will also be retaining the shrub and trees within this zone, as well as creating information boards to display alongside the monument.

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It has re-located 15 common lizards to Warden Hills Nature Reserve, and will be installing bat boxes in strategic elevated locations across its Turnpike Edge development.

Gareth Jacob, Sales and Marketing Director for Taylor Wimpey South Midlands, says: “We carried out extensive surveys of the site to identify the presence of ecological and archaeological interest.

“We wanted to ensure that our plans for new homes did not cause any problems for the current inhabitants of the land or to the history of the area.”