Hedgehog Highways

Article by Katie Dickinson Feb 18th 2016

A Cumbrian firm is getting behind hedgehog conservation by becoming the first homebuilder in the country to create hedgehog highways.

Russell Armer Homes is working with Hedgehog Street – a partnership between the People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) and the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) – by supporting its campaign for hedgehog conservation.

All of the company’s new homes have a 125mm x 125mm gap in their fencing, which allows hedgehogs to move from garden to garden.

Hedgehog Street says that more secure fences and walls are one of the main reasons why the hedgehog population is declining in Britain.

Creating corridors in fences will establish ‘habitat corridors’ for the hedgehogs, which will be too small for most pets to use but will allow safe passage for a little hedgehog.

The first homes to become part of a Hedgehog Highway, will be Russell Armer’s new homes at OverSands View, Grange-over-Sands and the Sheiling, Arkholme.

There will be 42 properties with hedgehog gaps at Grange-over-Sands and 14 properties on a Hedgehog Highway at Arkholme.

Russell Armer Homes’ managing director, Martyn Nicholson, says: “We are delighted to become Hedgehog Champions by creating what we believe to be Cumbria and Lancashire’s first Hedgehog Highways.

Lovely news. It’s a small start, but hopefully other builders and developers will follow Russell Armer Homes’ enlightened lead. Because our beloved hedgehog is in sad decline. Not mentioned in the article is gardeners’ profligate use of slug pellets. The pellets not only kill off the hedgie’s staple food, but can kill the poor hedgie himself if he eats enough poisoned slugs. And they have the potential to harm other wildlife – frogs, toads, cats, dogs, foxes and badgers can also fall victim if there is enough build up of the toxins in their systems.

If you’re looking for a wildlife-friendly way of protecting your precious plants from the predations of the slimy beasties, click here for some hot tips. Just ignore no.2 on the list though –  I don’t like that one!


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