The houses in the new Wichelstowe development are equipped with all modern creature comforts.

And the roads serving the new estates are also designed to comfort creatures.

Swindon Borough Council is building a new southern access road joining the new houses to Hay Lane and Wharf Road including a tunnel going under the M4.

As part of that new road, contractors having been adding measures to make sure the wildlife around the road can get about without having to cross the road itself and running the risk of being killed.

Measures include tunnels under the road underpass for animals to use and special kerbstones being installed near drains in the road.

Swindon Borough Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for strategic infrastructure, transport and planning, Gary Sumner said: “Wichelstowe is a unique opportunity for people to live in a new community with truly accessible open space which is already home to many species. 

"The features being installed, such as ecology tunnels and wildlife kerbs mean that we are interfering less with their habitats and allowing wildlife freedom of movement. 

"The canal is also a fantastic wildlife corridor.

“We often see residents posting their photos of the wildlife around the lakes and canal and in the future this will include those walking on the boardwalks through the ecology protection zones.”

Coun Sumner said before construction work started surveys were taken on species including bats, badgers, great crested newts, dormice, reptiles, water voles, otters, birds and trees and hedgerows.

A new habitat called the western receptor site was created for animals  that had to be moved from construction sites – it includes a new woodland, a large tussocky grassland area, 1300 metres of hedgerow and three ponds and 170 trees many with bat roosting boxes.

Coun Sumner added: “We have translocated 408 great crested newts, 670 slow-worms, 13 grass snakes and 559 toads in to the western receptor site."

Animals will also be able to cross the roads more safely.

The four underpass tunnels are designed for mammals, reptiles and amphibians, with one pipe having water running through it. The kerbs are recessed and placed next to drains in the road’s gulley to allow amphibians, which stick to the kerb line for cover, to get round the drain. Otherwise, many could fall through the grate and be trapped in the drain and starve to death.

Drivers will see signs warning them that they may still see animals crossing and that they should take care.