Bucks council team up with National Turtle Sanctuary to rehome abandoned terrapins

The Country Parks team at Buckinghamshire Council have joined forces with the National Turtle Sanctuary to relocate abandoned terrapins.

The move comes in a bid to solve the issue caused by the population of terrapins at in Black Park lake.

In recent years a number of the turtle species have flocked to the lake, after most likely being abandoned by their former owners.

However, the conditions of the lake are not ideal for these cold-blooded terrapins to flourish as they usually need warmer environments to live in.

These creatures are ‘ill-equipped’ to survive the damp British weather out in the wild and sadly many of them die.

The terrapins who survive on a diet which includes amphibians, small rodents, birds, fish, eggs, plants and larvae are also ‘upsetting’ the natural ecosystem of other insects, plants and wildlife.

Terrapins are officially declared an ‘invasive’ species and in the UK, it is illegal to sell, buy, breed or release the creatures into the wild.

Working alongside experts from the sanctuary, the team have placed a number of humane traps in the lake to carefully catch the creatures.

After all the terrapins are found and kept secure in a temporary pond at the park, the sanctuary will send out a team to obtain the the turtles and take them back to their Lincolnshire base where they will live permanently live in a new custom-built home.

The project to relocate the terrapins is part of a larger upcoming venture to by the Country Parks team to combat erosion of the lake sure and banks over the following years.

Andy Ferguson, Herpetologist from the National Turtle Sanctuary said: “We are really pleased to be working with Buckinghamshire Council on this project to rehome these abandoned terrapins.”

Clive Harriss, Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure said: “Our country parks provide a natural home to a wide variety of plants and wildlife.

“Sadly terrapins are not one of those natural species. We have had to carry out this work to ensure these creatures are taken somewhere better suited to their needs and our native species do not suffer at their expense.

“I would urge anyone who has a pet terrapin but who perhaps can no longer look after it to get in touch with organisations like the National Turtle Sanctuary to enquire about rehoming in a suitable new environment.”

For more information visit https://countryparks.buckscc.gov.uk/park-projects/

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