Graham Norton provides inspiration for Lincolnshire hedgehogs…
The BBC Radio 2 Graham Norton Show has, inadvertently, resulted in a concerted campaign to protect hedgehogs in South Kesteven.
Coun Ashley Baxter (Ind), who represents the Market and West Deeping Ward was listening to BBC Radio 2 while driving his daughter home from a music lesson when he heard Graham Norton interviewing the much-loved poet, Pam Ayres MBE, about her new book called “The Last Hedgehog”.
Pam Ayres informed Mr Norton, and a listening nation, that hedgehog numbers have fallen by 50 per cent since 2000 and there are now fewer than a million of the prickly population left in the UK.
Coun Baxter was keen for South Kesteven to take action and requested the South Kesteven Communications Team send out information to residents about the issue. He comments: “I was hoping that the PR team would be able to use the council newsletter, SK Today, and our wider media network to explain the importance of leaving out shallow dishes of water and leaving gaps under fences to allow hedgehogs to roam freely in search of food and other hedgehogs. I’m sure it’s difficult enough for hedgehogs to mate without the trouble of being separated by a six foot garden fence.”
The communications team immediately published information to coincide with National Hedgehog Awareness Week but also discussed the issue with colleagues in other council departments. It was decided that the Council’s grounds maintenance staff should be involved and stickers were put onto the Councils strimmers and mowers to remind staff of the importance of checking for hedgehogs before cutting long grass and hedges.
Coun Baxter continues: “I am delighted the council has adopted this campaign with such enthusiasm. It ties in well with the recent decision to bring grounds maintenance back in-house. I am sure next year we will be able to put in place many more initiatives to protect hedgehogs, hares, foxes and other wildlife.”
An unnamed council spokesperson commented “It’s a great campaign. Let’s hope our more prickly residents will see the point!”
Notes to Editors
- More details about hedgehogs can be obtained from the British Hedgehog Preservation Society. https://www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk/
- Pam Ayres’ book – The Last Hedgehog – is published from Pan Macmillan for £6.99.
The poor little fellas are being attacked from all directions
1. More vehicles on the road means more road kill
2. Pesticides have decimated their food supply
3. More and more people are paving and voncreting their drives and making lawns smaller. So hedgehogs have less ground to hunt on.
4. Planners are allowing estates to be built with smaller gardens surrounded by high fences.
5. Dry weather means less slugs and snails to eat.
6. Fewer households have compost heaps for hedgehogs to hibernate in.
7 Gardens have less wild places that are loved by hedgehogs.