Before the Build
Assume hedgehogs will be present Island wide, they roam far and wide looking for food and mates and have been found all over the Island. You will need to consider ways to protect hedgehogs during the build and incorporate hedgehog friendly features into the site once the work is completed. Do not use netting to cover hedges to prevent birds nesting prior to site works, this also poses a serious risk to hedgehogs as they use hedgerows as corridors.
Preparing the Site
Caution is needed when clearing piles of deadwood, areas of long grass or dense vegetation. Please cut to knee height, check for hedgehogs or any other wildlife and then cut lower if required. Piles of brushwood should be left behind hedges or at the edges of the site to mitigate for the loss of nest sites.
These must not be set alight.
During the Build
Hazards such as open holes, pits, drains and ponds should be covered or fitted with escape ramps of rough wood or wire netting. Trenches or ditches should be ramped at both ends to facilitate escape. If pipes are being laid, traffic cones placed in any open ends overnight will prevent an inquisitive hedgehog from getting trapped inside.
If a hedgehog is found on the site, please phone the Jersey Hedgehog Preservation Group on 01534 734340.
Rubbish should be safely stored in designated bins so that wildlife cannot become trapped in it
Please make sure that ground-dwelling species can move freely between gardens by providing 13 x 13 cm holes in fences and walls at ground level, or by leaving a 13cm gap under gates. Specially designed gravel boards for fencing are available from JF(T)U Ltd. (Tel 01534 865304)
Ground level changes may also create barriers such as high kerbs, steps, terracing or sunken patios. Landscaping should ensure sloped access/escape routes for ground dwelling species. Drains should be covered, ponds and swimming pools fitted with escape ramps of wire netting or rigid plastic mesh.
Hedges are preferable to fences or walls. Native-species hedgerows are recommended to provide a rich food source, shelter and connectivity for wildlife. Existing trees and hedgerows should be retained wherever possible.
Hedgehog Friendly Gardens
Hedgehog friendly features include dense scrub and log piles for hibernation, leaf litter for nesting material, short grass for foraging and longer grass for summer nests. Minimise areas of hard standing or artificial grass in favour of plants and real grass. Chemicals should be avoided and organic management encouraged. Hedgerows should be trimmed in rotation with the top or one side being cut every three years during the winter when the berries/nuts are finished and no birds are nesting.
Education Include details of hedgehog friendly features in new home owners’ welcome packs so that they do not remove escape ramps or block up access holes. Advice should be given to any company managing the open spaces in the development so that wildlife friendly features are maintained.