RESIDENTS in Rodbourne have been left puzzled after signs about reptile preservation appeared around a field that has been left to grow out of control.
The field, off Pasture Close, used to be mowed by the council but in the last few months it has been left overgrown.
Signs have since gone up stating that a reptile survey is being carried out on the field – and the council has put down squares of roofing felt to attract the creatures on to. This has sparked concerns from residents that the overgrown grass had led to reptiles finding a new home in the field.
However, the real reason for the survey is because the council is planning to expand Even Swindon Primary School which is adjacent to the field.
Ward councillor, Kevin Small (Lab, Mannington and Western), said: “The signage and the overgrown grass in the field are not connected.
“The school is being extended and will take in part of the field.
“As part of the planning, research has to take place to make sure endangered wildlife such as newts, which live around that area, are not affected.
“They have put this sign up to let people know what was going on and not to disturb the area.”
Details of the schools expansion plans were outlined by the council in the last cabinet report in order to meet the need for additional school spaces.
The permanent school expansion would increase the capacity of the school by more than 30 pupils.
The proposal for additional places at Even Swindon is at detailed design stage at the moment, but the construction works are estimated at this point to cost in the region of £2.5m to £3.5m. It is hoped the expansion will be phased in from next September onwards.
Residents, however, are still concerned about the length of the grass on the field and would like it to be cut to a manageable size.
John May, who walks his dog through the field five times a week, said: “It used to be cut regularly but now look at it, it is terrible.
“It is in desperate need of being cut, so many people use this site.”
Resident Sheila Smith, who uses the field as a cut-through to the shops, said: “The grass hasn’t been cut for a few weeks now.
“I think it is definitely in need of cutting. You don’t know what is in that grass, when you walk through it it is very long and could be dangerous.”