Five-star housebuilder offers tips on giving a hedgehog a home this Bonfire Night
Buckinghamshire homebuilder Barratt and David Wilson Homes is urging its customers to help their prickly neighbours this Bonfire Night with five tips on making gardens into a haven for hedgehogs.
The developer, along with long-term partner the RSPB and Hedgehog Street, is encouraging households to watch out for hedgehogs and other small animals that may take shelter in pre-lit bonfires.
It is estimated that there are fewer than a million hedgehogs remaining in Britain, with up to a third of the population having been lost since the millennium from urban areas. The State of Britain’s Hedgehogs 2018 report (published by PTES and BHPS) also revealed that rural hedgehog populations have halved since 2000.
Nationally and locally, Barratt and David Wilson Homes has a long term pledge to create more wildlife friendly developments, by working with the RSPB and giving nature a new home, and these hedgehog shelters are an integral part of this mission.
Hedgehog experts from Hedgehog Street (a joint campaign between People’s Trust for Endangered Species and the British Hedgehog Preservation Society) offer various top tips at www.hedgehogstreet.org for helping hedgehogs including advice and guidance on how to build a hedgehog home or where to buy one.
Barratt and David Wilson Homes has issued a five-star plan based on advice from experts at Hedgehog Street for anyone looking to help hedgehogs in their own garden:
- Create hedgehog highways. Speak to your neighbours about hedgehogs and their plight, to encourage them to make a hole in their fence too.
- Create a haven for your garden hedgehog. You could buy or make a hedgehog home, which will be a welcome retreat for your night time visitor. Find more information at www.hedgehogstreet.org”
- Safety first – Cover drains, provide safe exits from ponds and always check for hedgehogs before using strimmers or mowers, particularly under hedges where animals may rest.
- Don’t touch a hedgehog unless you think it is injured. If you do have to pick up a hedgehog, make sure you wear suitable gardening gloves or use a folded towel.
- Put out fresh water for hedgehogs in the garden but don’t feed them milk as they are lactose intolerant. Tinned meaty cat or dog food and even dry cat or dog food is a useful addition to a hedgehog’s diet.
There are lots ways to keep hedgehogs, which are experiencing a dramatic decline in numbers, safe during Bonfire Night as well as throughout the year.
New homeowners are also being encouraged by wildlife experts to open up their own ‘hedgehog highways’ between their gardens, as thriving hedgehog populations need access to numerous gardens. This can be as simple as a CD case-sized hole (13×13 cm) in the bottom of the fence or wall. Once a hole has been created, homeowners can log this – and any hedgehog sightings too – via Hedgehog Street’s BIG Hedgehog Map.
Karly Williams, Sales Director at Barratt and David Wilson Homes North Thames, said: “Our partnership with the RSPB is extremely important to us and we want to work closely with our customers to ensure our British wildlife is preserved at our developments.
“As the darker and colder nights draw in, it is important to remember our smaller neighbours too, and something as little as creating a hedgehog highway and gardening with wildlife in mind to provide food and shelter for hedgehogs, can make the world of difference.”
The move has been welcomed by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS), which offers help and advise to those with sick, injured or orphaned hedgehogs.
Chief executive of BHPS, Fay Vass said: “Hedgehog numbers are in severe decline so we welcome any action to help them from both the public and businesses alike, and would particularly like to encourage people to create hedgehog highways.”
A ‘hedgehog highway’ is created by linking up multiple gardens and allowing safe passage for the creatures to come and go. As well being a proven method helping hedgehogs, it’s also a great way to meet your neighbours and improve your local community.
Karly continued: “We want people to be able to look out for hedgehogs as winter approaches, and make their gardens a home for nature.”
For more tips on how to help hedgehogs, visit www.hedgehogstreet.org and https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/advice/gardening-for-wildlife/homes-for-hedgehogs/
Barratt and David Wilson Homes is currently building properties at Kingsbrook in Aylesbury and St Rumbold’s Fields in Buckingham.
For more information about Barratt Homes, visit https://www.barratthomes.co.uk/ or call the sales team on 033 3355 8500. For more information about David Wilson Homes, visit https://www.dwh.co.uk/ or call the sales team on 033 3355 8501.