Michael Recycle has two new friends; Hester the hedgehog and Taylor the swift! ECDCWatch aims to encourage the district to protect hedgehogs and swifts.

Why are East Cambridgeshire District Council doing this?

In 2018, The Guardian newspaper reported that number of hedgehogs in the UK has fallen by half since the year 2000. Similarly, swifts saw a 51% decrease in their breeding numbers in the UK between 1995 and 2015. It is thought that a contributing factor to the falling numbers in both hedgehogs and swifts is habitat loss.

What you can do to help as a resident or business-owner

Making a small hole in your fence ensures hedgehogs can move around at night. They need to roam far and wide to search for food and nesting sites and blocking their way could hinder their plans! 13cm x 13xcm is sufficient enough space for a hedgehog to pass through safely.

You can also create a hedgehog house! Choose a quiet and shady area of your garden and use untreated wood. Find out how to make your hedgehog house.

Swifts enjoy nesting in high places, so you can create a nestbox for them to put outside your home. This ideally should be under the eaves and at least 15 feet above the ground. Find out how to create a nestbox.

What you can do as a developer

When creating plans for housing, you can ensure all your development plans have swift boxes included. Old houses tend to have more high-up crevices which provide the ideal nesting site for swifts. However, newer developments tend to block these which is why swift numbers have fallen dramatically. 

You can also plant native hedgerows across the development and build a pond to give hedgehogs access to a water supply and insects. You should also monitor the area before using tools and equipment for developing so not to hurt hedgehogs who might be hiding in the area. 

What the council are doing to help

East Cambridgeshire District Council are actively taking precautions to encourage the protection of hedgehogs and swifts including:

  • Adding Strimmer warning stickers on machinery and equipment
  • Having ECDCWatch included within the East Cambs planning newsletter which goes out to agents and developers
  • A monthly blog from Taylor the Swift or Hester the Hedgehog giving you helpful tips and advice
  • Weekly hints and tips on the Michael Recycle social media pages

To stay up to date with Hester the hedgehog and Taylor the swift’s progress, follow @MikeLRecycle on Twitter!