05 Aug Help save Britain’s hedgehogs with ‘hedgehog highways’
the Experts in Property network of independent estate agencies across the South West is urging people to sign a petition to help protect hedgehogs, the UK’s iconic and much-loved garden visitor, which is now officially vulnerable to extinction.
Recently added to the Red List for Britain’s Mammals by the Mammal Society, it is estimated that our hedgehog population has seen a decline of more than 46% over 13 years, with reasons including road fatalities and loss of habitat due to modern farming methods, building and development.
Having traditionally come from the hedgerows of the countryside, hedgehogs now seem to be faring better in urban areas. The Experts in Property last month launched its ‘Hedgehog Friendly Property’ initiative, designed to encourage vendors, buyers, landlords and tenants to help keep our prickly friends safe and protected with hedgehog friendly gardens and the introduction of ‘hedgehog highways’ so they can roam more safely between urban gardens at night.
The petition was created by hedgehog-loving ecologist and author, Hugh Warwick, who is campaigning to get ‘hedgehog highways’ built into all new housing developments. There are currently just over 1,016,000 signatures on the petition, affirming the British love for hedgehogs and the huge level of support for these tiny highways to become a legal requirement. When the number of supporters reaches 1,500,000, the petition will become one of the most signed on Change.org, the World’s largest petition platform. Principals and staff from the Experts in Property offices across Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset and Bristol are signing the petition in support of the campaign.
In the meantime, all the Experts in Property member offices will be promoting and encouraging hedgehog friendly gardens and the creation of ‘hedgehog highways’ in established residential areas.
Fay Vass, CEO of the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) said, “With the hedgehog population decreasing they need as much help as possible to stay safe. We really appreciate that the Experts in Property are making efforts to spread the word of how important it is to join up the landscape and create a welcoming habitat in the properties they sell and rent. Their initiative will hopefully encourage more people to actively make space for hedgehogs in their gardens and think about how they might help Britain’s only spiny mammal to come back from the brink.”
The network’s ‘Hedgehog Friendly Property’ badge is being used to highlight hedgehog-friendly properties for sale and to rent with Experts in Property offices across the Southwest, based on the principles of ‘Hedgehog Street’ – a partnership project between BHPS and People’s Trust for Endangered Species – where people can log sightings of hedgehogs on The Big Hedgehog Map!
Let’s join together to help the hedgehogs by supporting Hugh Warwick and his petition at Change.org. In Hugh’s words, the introduction of hedgehog highways in new build developments would be “One small step for hedgehogs, one giant leap for the reversal of ecological degradation”. For more information or to browse