Jersey Hedgerow Campaign

Jersey Hedgerow CampaignAim:

To restore and protect Jersey’s hedgerows and farmland trees for the benefit of theIsland’s biodiversity.

Objectives:

The campaign is based on recommendations outlined in Jersey’s mammal biodiversity action plans to re-establish and enhance hedgerow habitats and improve habitat connectivity for the benefit of mammals and other species. Protection Orders for valuable established hedges will also be sought under this campaign.

 Rationale:

Hedgerows are important habitats and food sources in their own right and may also act as wildlife corridors for many species, including reptiles and amphibians, allowing dispersal and movement between other habitats. (UKBAP 1995. Action plan for ancient and/or species rich hedgerows).

Jersey’s hedgerows have become degraded since the arrival of Dutch elm disease in the mid 1970s (loss of approx 80% of hedgerow trees), the Great Storm of 1987 (loss of 20,000) and the on-going pressures of intensive agricultural industry and high land values which have lead to  removal, neglect, mechanical damage and inadequate restocking.

For wildlife, a lack of healthy hedgerow can lead  to fragmented and reduced populations, habitats and food sources and may be a factor in the decline of ten local species including: common toadflax (Linaria vulgaris); wild strawberry (Fragaria vesca); red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris); some bat species; Jersey bank vole (Clethrionomys glareolus caesarius); lesser white-toothed shrew (Crocidura suaveolens); Millet’s shrew (Sorex coronatus); European common toad (Bufo bufo), agile frog (Rana dalmatina), grass snake (Natrix natrix), and the yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella) (Biodiversity Action Plans for Jersey 2006).

 The proposal is to upgrade and re-connect existing hedgerow fragments thereby re-establishing important habitat linkages for a variety of locally-threatened fauna and flora.

 

Key steps and history:

Initially this campaign was planned to run in three phases each designed to meet recommendations for a different mammal species action plan. GIS mapping and current mammal surveys have been used to establish priority areas for planting. Planting mixed native species including; field maple, hazel, hawthorn, elder, blackthorn, sweet chestnut, common oak and ash (to be agreed at time of planning).

Phase 1– Squirrels, winter 2007/08

To plant hedgerow connection usable by Squirrels from proposed linkage corridors outlined in Magris 2000 the east and central connection routes. COMPLETED!

 Phase 2 – Bats, winter 2008/09 – continuing 2009/10

To plant hedges and tree lines around established roost sites, according to 2007 roost survey, to provide connectivity for bats commuting between foraging sites. COMPLETED!

Phase 3 – Hedgehogs, winter 2009/10

Plant hedges to strengthen habitats and provide corridors for safe foraging around sites taken from the 2007 distribution survey carried out by Jersey Hedgehog Preservation Group. COMPLETED!

Phase 4a – Bats, winter 2010/2011

Planting in Grouville around the area of the Marsh (between Queen’s Valley Reservoir and the ParishChurch) as the area has been identified as being habitat for a number of bat species. COMPLETED!

Phase 4b – Squirrels, winter 2010/2011

Restoring and planting new hedgerows in St Johnto create corridors for squirrels. COMPLETED!

 Phase 5a – Hedgehogs, winter 2011/2012

Adding to planting previously carried out in St Clement in 2009/2010. COMPLETED!

Phase 5b – Squirrels, winter 2011/2012

Adding to planting carried out in St Johnin 2010/2011. COMPLETED!

Made possible by a recent generous donation

 

States of Jersey Biodiversity Action Plans:

Squirrels

4.2 To increase and stabilise the number of local populations, and to enhance hedgerow linking corridors among the woodland fragments.

5.1.2 Have input on the Countryside Renewal Scheme in order to develop an Island-wide planting strategy for hedgerow creation and woodland management.

5.2.1 Seek to upgrade existing woodland and hedgerows according to agreed management initiatives for Red Squirrels. Where viable populations occur and suitable habitat remains obtain site protection under the Jersey Island Planning Law (1964) Article Sites of Special Interest.

5.4.1 Advise land managers on hedgerow creation and management, appropriate for Red Squirrels.

5.6.2 Flagship species – The value of using the Red Squirrel as a ‘flagship’ species in habitat creation and management for local wildlife is recognised and encouraged.

5.7.1 Measures taken to improve squirrel habitat connectivity benefit other species notably bats.

Bats

4.3 Encourage conditionswhich would lead to anincrease in bat populations.

5.2.3 Protect, maintain and enhance insect-rich riparian habitats and linear landscape features suitable for foraging and commuting e.g. woodland edge, trees, pasture, open water and wetland areas and their associated habitats. Carry out habitat management initiatives in accordance with the Jersey Bat Survey Report and the Red Squirrel Species Action Plan.

5.2.4 Encourage CRS applications leading to enhancement of bat populations and habitat.

Voles, Shrews

5.2.1 Enhance and defragment habitats through habitat creation and upgrading as a result of initiatives supported by the Countryside Renewal Scheme.

5.2.1 Enhance and consolidate habitats through habitat creation and upgrading as a result of initiatives supported by the Countryside Renewal Scheme.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Education Programme

An education programme, with a major sponsor, has targeted the Island’s primary and secondary schools to explain the importance of hedges to theIsland’s biodiversity. This programme included specially designed activities for schools run during environment week 2008 and 2009 reaching over 500Jerseychildren.

Logistics:

  • Planting of the hedgerows is carried out during the planting season, from the end of November until the mid March.
  • It is essential to carry out a maintenance programme for the subsequent three years after planting in order to prevent the young whips from being overrun by weeds and bracken which would starve the plants of sunlight, water and nutrients. After three years it is considered that the young hedgerow plants are large enough to thrive on their own.