A housebuilder is urging people to help their prickly neighbours this Bonfire Night, by making their gardens a haven for hedgehogs.
David Wilson Homes Yorkshire West has joined forces with the RSPB to set a new benchmark in wildlife friendly developments, and is encouraging households to watch out for hedgehogs and other small animals that may take shelter in pre-lit bonfires.
Stacey Berkeley, sales manager at Bodington Manor said: “Our partnership with the RSPB is extremely important to us and we want to work closely with local communities to ensure British wildlife is preserved at our developments, including Bodington Manor.
“As the darker and colder nights draw in it is important to remember something as small as a hedgehog habitat can make a lot of difference.”
The move has been welcomed by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, which offers help and advice to those with sick, injured or orphaned hedgehogs.
Chief executive Fay Vass said: “Hedgehog numbers are in severe decline so we welcome any action to help them from both the public and businesses alike.”
Experts from Hedgehog Street, a joint campaign between People’s Trust for Endangered Species and the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, offer various tips for helping hedgehogs. Wildlife experts are also encouraging new homeowners to open up ‘hedgehog highways’ between their gardens.
David Wilson Homes has issued a five-star plan for anyone looking to help hedgehogs:
1 Create a haven for your garden hedgehog. A hedgehog habitat provides a dry, safe home but even a board against a fence will be a welcome retreat for your night time visitor. Find more information at www.hedgehogstreet.org
2 Cover drains and holes as a hedgehog may fall in, and ensure there is an escape route in ponds. Always check for hedgehogs before using strimmers or mowers, particularly under hedges where animals may rest.
3 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.
4 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.
5 Speak to your neighbours about hedgehogs and their plight, to encourage them to make a highway in their fence too. For more tips on how to help hedgehogs, visit the Hedgehog Street website: www.hedgehogstreet.org.
David Wilson Homes Yorkshire West is currently building its Bodington Manor development in the village of Adel, near Leeds.