Woods Homes, part of the Experts in Property, the South West’s network of independent estate agents, are delighted to launch their ‘Hedgehog Friendly Property’ initiative, a new campaign designed to support the plight of our endangered prickly friends and promote properties where measures have been taken to encourage and sustain the hedgehog population.
The hedgehog first evolved around 15 million years ago and is one of the oldest mammals on the planet. In the 1950’s, hedgehog population around Britain was estimated to be around 36.5 million, but by 1995 the number had drastically plummeted to around 1.5 million and the latest estimate is that there are just 1 million hedgehogs left in Britain. Last year, the British hedgehog was officially announced a species vulnerable to extinction, so there has never been a more desperate need for action to save the increasingly vulnerable spiky garden favourite.
Many factors have contributed to the rapid decline. Firstly, a loss of habitat due modern farming methods with larger fields and fewer hedgerows, the building of roads and infrastructure, and residential and industrial development. This, as well as more widespread use of pesticides, herbicides and fertilisers have reduced the number of invertebrates available for hedgehogs to eat. Traditional hedge-laying has been replaced by flailing, which thins and damages the hedgerows making them a less than ideal habitat for nesting; our roads are busier causing more hedgehog fatalities; and there has been an increase in badger population – the hedgehog’s main natural predator and the only animal in the UK which can unroll and kill hedgehogs.
Hedgehogs love the countryside but are also abundant in urban areas. Urban hedgehogs can roam an average distance of 2km in a night, through our streets and gardens, which provide food and shelter. There are plenty of things we can do to help our hedgehogs survive, and even thrive, for the long-term protection and preservation of the species.
The Woods Homes group, which includes Woods & Woods Bryce Baker offices in South Devon, are now engaged in the the Experts in Property - ‘Hedgehog Friendly Property’ initiative, encouraging vendors, buyers, landlords and tenants to champion our nation’s iconic hedgehog. The ‘Hedgehog Friendly Property’ badge will be used to highlight hedgehog-friendly properties for sale and to rent across the Southwest.
Details of the simple steps, householders can take to ‘help the hedgehogs’, along with links to organisations providing more information and guidance on measures we can all take, to defend and protect our hedgehogs from extinction, are available in the links below.
Further details of how we will be raising the profile of 'Hedgehog Friendly' properties will be announced over the next few weeks.
Guide to helping hedgehogs: