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Housing group help hedgehogs with highways

Sanctuary, a Worcester-based housing and care provider, has pledged to help local wildlife by installing hedgehog-sized holes in the garden fences of all its new homes.

The ‘Hedgehog Highways’ – a network of 13cm x 13cm square holes – will link gardens with neighbouring plots and other green spaces, allowing hedgehogs and other small wildlife to roam freely.

Sanctuary signs up for Hedgehog Highways (Henry Johnson)

To alert new residents to the use of the highways, and highlight the importance of protecting the much-loved creatures, Hedgehog Highway signs, made from recycled plastic, will be attached above the purpose-built fence gaps.

Sanctuary acquired the signs from Hedgehog Street – a joint campaign by wildlife charities People’s Trust for Endangered Species and the British Hedgehog Preservation Society to help the UK’s native hedgehog population, which has fallen by a third in urban areas since the millennium.

Hedgehog drinking (Hedgehog Street)

Grace Johnson, from Hedgehog Street, said: “Hedgehogs travel around one mile every night through parks and gardens in their quest to find enough food, nest sites and mates.

“Walls and fences can fragment the landscape, making it very difficult for hedgehogs to get from one green space to the next. Hedgehog Highways are our main solution for ensuring there is good connectivity between suitable habitats, and we are delighted that Sanctuary is making this positive step change for hedgehogs.”

Native hedgehog (Brian Austin for Hedgehog Street)

The move follows a nationwide campaign calling on developers to consider wildlife when creating new housing, resulting in the government setting out recommendations to help protect specific species.

For further information on Hedgehog Street – and top tips for creating a hedgehog friendly garden – visit www.hedgehogstreet.org

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