‘help save the hedgehog’

Posted on December 27, 2012

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Today (27th December), an item was posted on lancashiretelegraph.co.uk titled ‘East Lancashire animal lovers asked to help save the hedgehog’.

‘… NATURE lovers are being asked to be hedgehog-conscious this winter because of the dramatic decline the iconic British animal has seen in recent years.

The mammals are now settling down to hibernate over the colder months and gardeners are being asked to take care when removing leaf-piles from their properties.

The hedgehog population of 30 million in the UK 30 years ago has plunged to an estimated 1.5 million.

The Lancashire Wildlife Trust has been receiving news of young hedgehogs being killed in East Lancashire by predators and cars.

Alan Wright, from the Wildlife Trust, said: “Various reasons have been given for the decline including predators like the badger and the fox and the mammals being killed by cars, but that would not explain such a dramatic drop.

“Experts believe climate change and the removal of hedgerows from the countryside in the 60s and 70s, destroying habitat, are more likely reasons for the devastation of hedgehogs.”

But the Wildlife Trust is stressing that people can help hedgehogs by ensuring they can nest safely in gardens and local woods. Alan said: “Hedgehogs settle down around this time to hibernate in nests of leaves and twigs.

“If you are thinking about tidying your gardens it is always safer to leave leaf piles or to create new ones making your garden hedgehog-friendly.

“You can always tidy up the leaves in spring.

“And it is a bit special if a hedgehog does choose your back garden as a home because he or she will insist on having at least 12 others gardens around it as a ‘roaming territory’.

“It’s good to have a hedgehog in your garden as they eat slugs, as well as worms, frogs and the occasional snake.

“If you see hedgehogs wandering around at this time of year, they will have been disturbed and are in possible danger.

“It is a good idea to guide them to safe areas of undergrowth.” …’

Read the item, view image and add your comment online at www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/news/10128843.East_Lancashire_animal_lovers_asked_to_help_save_the_hedgehog/?ref=mmsp

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