A national housebuilder has launched a campaign to protect hedgehogs and other creatures.
Bovis has teamed up with the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) to install ‘hedgehog highways‘ at its existing developments – as well as future developments wherever possible.
It is hoped that similar initiatives will help other small mammals, birds, frogs and insects.
Hedgehogs walk more than a mile every night, but their progress is being hampered by new developments, fences and other physical barriers. To this end, Bovis is creating holes at ground level to allow hedgehogs to pass freely.
Areas created by Bovis will be marked with a plaque, with the housebuilder also building hedgehog homes in green spaces.
Louise Macrae, Bovis Homes regional marketing manager, said: “We are proud to be the first housebuilder aiming to roll-out hedgehog highways as standard across current locations and our new developments, to help one of the nation’s favourite animals roam freely at night between gardens.
“As part of our new sustainability steering group, protecting hedgehogs and the environment is at the forefront of what we want to achieve and we are delighted to join forces with the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and take the lead in the housebuilding industry.
“Connectivity is vital to allow hedgehogs to find enough food, mates and shelter. There are many simple measures we can all take to help their numbers recover and ensuring easy access to our gardens is a very important step.”
Fay Vass, chief executive of BHPS, added: “We are delighted that Bovis Homes is making this important pledge to help our dwindling population of hedgehogs. Creating holes for hedgehogs in fences and walls is a simple step but it could have a huge impact on the amount of habitat available for hedgehogs following the development of a site.
“There are many small actions we can all take to help hedgehogs in our gardens and green spaces, and joined together those small actions can make a huge difference to a species under threat.”
How can you help hedgehogs?
You can encourage hedgehogs by putting a hedgehog home in your garden or a log pile. These provide natural food and shelter for our prickly friends..
Ponds are also suitable if there is an escape route in the form of a ramp or a sloping edge. Hedgehogs can swim but cannot escape steep, slippery-sided ponds.
When feeding hedgehogs, you’re advised to offer meaty cat or dog food, cat biscuits and water. Only offer water to drink – milk is not suitable as it can cause diarrhoea.
For more information, visit the British Hedgehog Preservation Society website.