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07/04/2019

Advertiser content: Hedgehog Street launches free advice guide for developers

Words: Emily Wilson
Hedgehog crossing a street

Hedgehogs are disappearing from Britain's towns and cities. Simple steps by developers can make a big difference to their chances of survival, says Emily Wilson

Hedgehogs are disappearing at an alarming rate.

The recent State of Britain’s Hedgehogs 2018 report revealed that since the millennium, the population of the nation’s favourite mammal has fallen by a third in our towns and cities.

The two wildlife charities behind this report, the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and People’s Trust for Endangered Species, launched the Hedgehog Street campaign to inspire the British public to help us protect our hedgehogs.

I have the honour of being the ‘Hedgehog Officer’ for Hedgehog Street, managing the campaign and spreading awareness of the decline of the species, but also how we can all help protect them, whether the general public, farmers, parliamentarians, or housing developers.

Why are they in decline?

There are a combination of factors causing the decline of hedgehogs, including habitat loss and fragmentation, predation, road collisions, climate change and pesticide use limiting prey availability, and dangerous hazards such as open water bodies, bonfires and litter threatening hedgehog survival.

What’s the solution?

Hedgehogs travel around one mile every night through parks and gardens in their quest to find enough food, nest sites and mates. With new developments popping up all over the country, we are increasingly fragmenting the landscape, whether it be by installing fences and walls, or building new roads. This makes it very difficult for hedgehogs to get from one green space to the next.

‘Hedgehog Highways’ are a great solution. By cutting a small 13cm x 13cm hole in the garden fences of new homes, you will instantly improve connectivity throughout the development and help protect this endangered species.

 

"We are increasingly fragmenting the landscape, and this makes it very difficult for hedgehogs to get from one green space to the next"

 

 

New free guide available!

With the help of the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, Hedgehog Street has now published a free guide for developers and house-builders, providing lots of tips on how to help hedgehogs on site, including:

  • instructions on how to make ‘Hedgehog Highways’
  • recommendations on removing hazards from your site
  • advice on how to survey for hedgehogs in the area
  • providing educational resources to new homeowners on hedgehog conservation and how they too can get involved
  • animal welfare advice for sick or injured hedgehogs
  • details about what habitat features will best help hedgehogs thrive, such as native planting, wildlife ponds and retained areas of deadwood and scrub – a hedgehog’s preferred habitat!
  • land management advice for completed development sites This free guide includes advice for helping hedgehogs on your site before, during and after the build – all with the purpose of helping to protect local hedgehog populations and encourage nearby ‘hogs to return to the site.

 

We need your help to make new developments hedgehog-friendly.

To request a copy of our free advice guide for developers and house-builders, or for a quotation for discounted ‘Hedgehog Highway’ signs, please contact Hedgehog Street at hedgehogs@ptes.org and find out how you can help hedgehogs on your site.

Together, we can bring these animals back from the brink.

 

Emily Wilson is the Hedgehog Officer for Hedgehog Street

Photos | CBCK - Christine iStock (main), Hedgehog Street (hedgehog highway)

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