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Gorey lizards get a home makeover

06 November 2019

​This week, work has begun to improve a habitat for a colony of wall lizards which live in Devon Gardens in Gorey.

The gardens were noticeably overgrown, prompting Growth, Housing and Environment to re-evaluate the site. Jersey is home to the only native population of wall lizards in the British Isles.

A team from Parks and Gardens have begun work to improve the habitat by cutting back invasive trees to allow more light into the area, which favours the lizards. 

Bruce Labey, Municipal Services Manager, said: “A team from Infrastructure has been clearing the overgrowth and we will be putting in seating areas so that everyone, including the lizards, can enjoy the outdoors and sea views.”

In January, the Jersey Conservation Volunteers will continue the work to encourage the protected species by delicately removing ivy from the dry-stone walls, the lizard’s favourite sunbathing spots.

Julia Clively, Natural Environment Officer, said: “We are grateful to a whole team of people including the Jersey Conservation Volunteers and a local landscape contractor who have helped to clear the site to make it a place for the lizards to thrive.”

Natural Environment and the Jersey Amphibian and Reptile Group (JARG) are planning to work together to survey the site and create interpretation to educate the public on the importance of lizards and their place in the ecosystem. 

Research Ecologist, Nina Cornish from Natural Environment said: “The Gorey area holds the largest colony of wall lizards in Jersey. The lizards, their dens, and access to their dens are protected, we have to make sure we carefully manage the vegetation on site, so not to disturb them or cause harm to them.” 

Local landscape firm C.A. Frazier Ltd are doing the work for free as part of their Corporate Service Responsibility programme.

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