Council supports Hedgehog Awareness Week with warning to gardeners
South Kesteven District Council supported Hedgehog Awareness Week last week by creating areas suitable for the prickly little creatures and by reminding its own gardeners to keep an eye out for them.
The council is asking residents to take the same care and pay close attention to hedgehog needs on their own property too.
The district council is putting British Hedgehog Preservation Society stickers on its grounds maintenance strimmers reminding the operators to check for hedgehogs before they start work.
Domestic and commercial strimmers can cause horrific injuries and injured hedgehogs often have to be put to sleep, even if they survive the initial accident. If a nest is strimmed, gardeners should also check for babies as without an adult the young won’t survive.
SKDC Cabinet Member for Environment, Coun Dr Peter Moseley, said: “Hedgehogs used to be a more common sight and although their decline is not fully understood, we can all make a difference to help protect their numbers. We are happy to be part of this initiative.”
The council has created some wild meadow areas on the edge of some of its municipal open spaces including Tattershall Drive, Market Deeping, and Jubilee Park in Deeping St James, and there are also natural areas in the Grantham parks. These provide a home for flora and fauna which enable bugs, birds, beetles and bees to survive and thrive, as well as that iconic inhabitant, the hedgehog.
There are ways in which the public can make a difference too:
- Although hedgehogs graze over a large areas, garden fences often prevent them from finding the food they need. So small holes at the bottom of wooden fences can allow them to roam more freely.
- Hedgehogs can swim but they find it hard to climb steep banks so garden ponds should be fitted with ‘shallow ends’ or mesh to allow our spikey friends to avoid drowning.
- A shallow dish of water left in the garden can make all the difference to a thirsty hedgehog in hot weather.
Anyone finding a hedgehog they are concerned about should call the British Hedgehog Preservation Society on 01584 890 801 for advice.
For more information on Hedgehog Awareness Week, see britishhedgehogs.org.uk