The British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) is celebrating its 40th anniversary over this year's Hedgehog Awareness Week (1 – 7 May 2022).
In celebration of its landmark anniversary, the charity is asking members of the public to 'grant some hedgehoggy birthday wishes', to support the UK's hedgehog population.
Some suggestions the charity has provided are making hedgehog highways in fences, creating square gaps in the bottom of fences or walls to allow hedgehogs to pass through, creating an undisturbed log pile to provide shelter and food for hedgehogs and building a hedgehog home.
Other ideas the charity has offered for celebration include leaving out water and meaty dog or cat food, checking carefully before mowing or strimming, ditching pesticides and poisons, ensuring that all ponds and pools have a way for hedgehogs to easily get out, creating a wild corner in the garden and joining the BHPS.
In a news release, the charity shared the heartwarming story of its founding: “It all began when Adrian (Major Adrian Coles MBE) found a hedgehog in a cattle grid on his land; he rescued it using a saucepan and then realised that if there hadn’t been a Major on hand with kitchenalia, the hedgehog would not have survived!
“He used his position as a County Councillor at the time to get Shropshire Council to install escape ramps in all its grids.
“The resulting publicity was so vast that he realised there was a great appetite to help the humble hedgehog in the UK; and so, the Society was founded.”
Fay Vass, chief executive of BHPS, commented: “Hedgehogs are struggling and mostly that’s due to human activity; these small actions can help a great deal - a little effort from each of us could make life a lot easier for hedgehogs!
“If you don’t have a garden yourself, you can still help by contacting public space managers, neighbours, family and friends to ensure they are doing their bit.”