UK Power Network ‘donates a day’

Volunteers from UK Power Networks by the new hibernaculum.
Volunteers from UK Power Networks by the new hibernaculum.

A winter woodland ‘hotel’ for lizards, snakes and great crested newts was built when electricity workers teamed up with Mid Sussex District Council in Blunts Wood.

UK Power Networks staff spent a day working with the council’s conservation and landscape officers to create a safe refuge for protected species and mini-beasts to move into this winter when they go into hibernation and need shelter during the colder months.

The team excavated a pit in the ground, filled it with logs and covered it in turf, ready for the arrival of the new guests in the late autumn.

The group then created a second hotel for stag beetles. The refuges are known as ‘hibernaculums’, named after the act of hibernation.

The company’s legal team took part in the council’s ongoing conservation work through UK Power Networks’ volunteering scheme, Donate a Day, which gave the company’s 6,000 staff two days paid leave each year to volunteer in their local communities.

Robert Cooke, who lives in the local area and organised the challenge, said: “It was really good fun and the team worked really hard.

“Ironically I’ve got a fear of snakes and so I’m glad we didn’t meet any on the day and hopefully the new ‘hotels’ mean our paths don’t cross in the future.”

Sorin Caraiman, from the landscapes team at Mid Sussex District Council, said: “The team were brilliant, they worked really hard to build two hibernaculums.”