A new hedgehog-friendly fencing campaign has been launched in a bid to make garden fencing with ready-made ‘Hedgehog Highways’ an industry standard - and members of the public are being asked to help.
Habitat fragmentation is one of the main issues affecting Britain’s hedgehogs, but 13cm square gaps in fences, known as hedgehog highways, help to combat this prickly problem.
Members of the public are being urged to write to local and national fencing companies, using free template letters provided by Hedgehog Street (link below), to request hedgehog-friendly fencing options in their product ranges. This includes pre-made holes in fences or gravel boards. Companies who agree will be showcased on Hedgehog Street’s website, celebrating those who have pledged to help Britain’s favourite mammal.
Helping hedgehogs thrive
Hedgehog Street, a nationwide initiative by charities People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) and The British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS), are behind this new movement. It aims to give native hedgehogs - listed as vulnerable to extinction on the Red List for Britain’s Mammals 2020 - better access to neighbouring gardens and green spaces, which is vital for the species’ long-term survival.
Grace Johnson, hedgehog officer for Hedgehog Street explains: “Hedgehog numbers have plummeted in recent years, with losses of up to 75 percent in parts of the countryside. Hedgehogs can travel 2km in a single night, and fences prevent hedgehogs from accessing different gardens looking for food, shelter, and potential mates. Making a hedgehog highway is an incredibly simple yet effective solution, especially if manufacturers and suppliers offered ready-made products as standard and made customers and installers aware of them.
“We really hope the nation will join us in the fight to save our native hedgehogs by asking local and national fencing manufacturers who aren’t already doing their bit to help. We understand it takes time to develop new products, but if a company pledged their support at this stage, it would be a huge step forward for hedgehog conservation.”
To take part and access the template letters, visit www.hedgehogstreet.org/hedgehog-friendly-fencing.