Local hedgehog champion, Dylan Allman, age 13, discovered he had hedgehogs in his garden during lockdown, and ever since has been learning all he can about one of Britain's favourite small mammals. He has installed two night-vision cameras to help him discover more about their habitat and habits, as well as building two feeding stations, a small pond, and even providing them with an extra home should they want it!
"I’ve never really spent much time in the garden before lockdown," said Dylan, "but since finding out we have hedgehogs I've been fascinated by them and wanted to learn as much as I could."
Dylan was shocked to learn that numbers have declined drastically over the past quarter of a century. The State of Britain’s Hedgehogs 2018 report (published by wildlife charities the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and People's Trust for Endangered Species) revealed that, since 2000, more than half of Britain's native hedgehogs have been lost from the countryside, and a third from urban areas. "There are lots of reasons for this," said Dylan, "including use of pesticides, cutting back hedgerows, more cars on the road, and over-tidying of gardens."
Dylan's film called "The Wonderful World of Hedgehogs" is already one of the top viewed videos on Hedgehog Street's YouTube channel this year. In it, he explains what people can do to make their gardens more hedgehog friendly, including putting at least one 13cm gap in your garden wall or fence to help them travel around at night. "They can travel over a mile across gardens under cover of darkness, but only if there are gaps in the fences," Dylan said.
Many hedgehogs are sadly injured or killed following accidents with garden equipment such as strimmers, so Dylan is appealing to everyone to check for hedgehogs before they start. If they discover one, they can be left alone or, if it seems unwell, call the British Hedgehog Preservation Society.
"Hedgehogs won’t run away from garden machinery," said Dylan, "instead they just curl up in a ball. It takes just a few moments to check long grass before you strim or mow, and you could save the life of one of these endangered species."
To learn more about hedgehogs, how to find out if you have them in your garden, and what you can do to help them survive, watch Dylan’s short film at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YH2d43kOwYY&feature=youtu.be and visit Hedgehog Street’s website: www.hedgehogstreet.org, where you can find lots of top tips too.
Notes to editors
About Hedgehog Street
Hedgehog Street is a joint campaign by wildlife charities: the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) and People's Trust for Endangered Species (PTES). It is an ongoing project which was launched in June 2011 and encourages people to make small changes in their own gardens, which will make a big difference for hedgehogs. To date, more than 76,000 volunteer "Hedgehog Champions" up and down the country have registered to help, but we always need more volunteers!
Hedgehog Street is working with The Rt Hon Chris Grayling, MP for Epsom and Ewell who is the species champion for the UK's native hedgehog.
The Hedgehog Street free app was launched in January 2020 and is available from the App Store or Google Play.
The charities’'Hedgehog Street garden won Gold at the 2014 RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show and People’s Choice Award in the summer garden category.
- Contact Name:
- Lorraine Allman
- Enterprise Promotion
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- 02921 175880