A new £20m school earmarked to be built in a Norfolk town will be designed to be hedgehog friendly.

Norfolk County Council wants to move Fred Nicholson School, which caters for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), from its current home in Dereham to a new site in Lynn Road, Swaffham.

Watton & Swaffham Times: How the new school in Swaffham could lookHow the new school in Swaffham could look (Image: Norfolk County Council)

The council lodged plans for the new school with its own planning committee - and they include measures to protect hedgehogs.

A report produced by Norfolk Wildlife Services detailed how the spiky mammals can be vulnerable during construction work, if their hibernation and sheltering habitat is destroyed.

The company said: "Any hedgerow removal could result in the destruction of foraging/sheltering habitat, resulting in potential minor-negative displacement impacts to hedgehog at the local scale."

Watton & Swaffham Times: The new school will be hedgehog friendlyThe new school will be hedgehog friendly (Image: Nick Butcher)

The report said: "Any trenches dug for construction must be covered over at night or else should have a shallow graded end to prevent animals getting trapped."

They also said any perimeter fencing around the site should include "hedgehog gaps", measuring 13cm by 12cm, at numerous locations, so the hedgehogs can still get through the site.

The council has now lodged plans for 10 access points around the site's perimeter which the hedgehogs would be able to get through.

The relocation of Fred Nicholson School would mean children would be able to attend the school all the way from the age of five to 16, with the number of pupils going up from 173 to 225.

A decision on whether to grant permission for the new school, which is due to open in April next year, will be made by County Hall's planning committee in due course.

Watton & Swaffham Times: County councillor Penny CarpenterCounty councillor Penny Carpenter (Image: Norfolk Conservatives)

Penny Carpenter, the council's cabinet member for children’s services, previously said: "Growing demand for places means that Fred Nicholson has completely outgrown its current building and the school needs to move, so that it can continue to provide the brilliant education it offers its children.

No decisions have been made about the future of the current Fred Nicholson site in Dereham.