On Tuesday 18th September eighty five captive bred sand lizard hatchlings were successfully released onto RSPB Farnham Heath as part of ARC’s nationwide reintroduction programme for the species.

A combined total of forty volunteers and staff from ARC and the RSPB along with a BBC Countryfile film crew for good measure, joined forces to prepare the site for release - clearing encroaching birch and pine scrub and digging out sandy traces, which, once mature, the lizards will use to lay their eggs in.

Sand lizards are now established on all suitable ARC managed sites in the Weald so this kind of partnership work between conservation organisations is vital in continuing to restore this iconic species to its historic range.

Being such habitat specialists in the UK, dependent on dry, sandy lowland heath or coastal dunes; sand lizards are poor dispersers unwilling to traverse unsuitable habitat in order to reach areas which could support them. This is why reintroductions are such a vital part of their conservation to give them a helping hand onto sites where they can thrive.

The juvenile lizards will have a chance to familiarise themselves with their new home and feed up for the winter before going into hibernation in October/November.

Footage of the day will be broadcast on BBC Countryfile’s wildlife special on Sunday 7th October.