By Tristan Harris Wednesday 11 September 2013 Updated: 20/09 01:35
A CAMPAIGN has been launched in a bid to make Bromsgrove the most hedgehog-friendly town in the UK.
Charlie Walker and Jayne Lawrence from the town's Willows Hedgehog Rescue have started the drive in a bid to encourage residents to do more for their prickly friends and put the town on the map at the same time.
So far, a resident near the new Meadows School has got six neighbours to open up their gardens to create a walkway for hedgehogs. And four of the spiky creatures have since been released into the area off Old Station Street.
As well as that, there are 17 foster carers across the district all taking in hedgehogs over the winter or raising juveniles in a bid to get them to their target weight.
Two hog nannies, based in Catshill, look after hedgehogs whilst at work and The Standard reported last month how property company Bovis Homes had been working with Willows on its new development in Catshill. Access routes through the gravel boards allows them to roam freely through the gardens and hedgehog houses have also been strategically placed at Church Meadows.
It comes as the hedgehog scooped the title of 'Britain’s National Species' after notching up the most votes in a nationwide survey organised by the BBC Wildlife magazine.
Charlie told The Standard the Bromsgrove campaign had got off to a great start, but added more needed to be done.
He said making a small effort for hedgehogs could make a big difference.
"All people need to do is to make sure there is a four to five-inch gap in their garden fences and if more neighbours could get together so there are scheduled hedgehog paths through several gardens, that would be even better."
Statistics show hedgehogs can travel up to a mile and a quarter every night.
Charlie added wildlife areas should be left containing small logs and piles of leaves and, he said, making hedgehog homes was easy and inexpensive as well.
All it takes is a plastic tub, upturned, with a four to five-inch square hole cut into one of the sides. The cut edges should be smoothed off and then the home can be covered with logs, branches and leaves.
He added Willows wanted to hear from residents about hedgehogs they had in their gardens and what people were doing to help them.
"If we can get enough Bromsgrove residents involved and thinking about how they can help hedgehogs, there is no reason why we cannot become the most hedgehog-friendly town in the UK," said Charlie.
For more on the campaign and making hedgehog homes, visit www.willowshedgehogrescue.co.uk. To contact Willows, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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