A new bid to protect hedgehogs from being killed in garden mishaps is being launched today.
The move marks the start of Hedgehog Awareness Week - organised by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society - which runs until May 6.
Events are being staged around the country to mark the week which aims to highlight the problems hedgehogs face and how people can help them.
This year efforts are focused on the society’s ‘Hedgehog Heroes’ project which urges councils and tool hire companies to place warning stickers on their garden strimmers and cutting machines.
Said a spokesman: “Every year we hear of so many terrible injuries and deaths caused by garden machinery. BHPS has produced a waterproof sticker to be placed onto machines and are asking councils and tool hire companies to get in touch and request the free stickers for their machines.
“If the group then emails a picture of the stickers ‘in use’, they get added to the Hedgehog Heroes Roll of Honour. This can be viewed at http://www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk/hedgehog-heroes-roll-honour/
As well as ensuring gardens are checked before work takes place, people are also being asked to make sure there are CD-case sized gaps in boundary fences and walls to allow easy passage for the animals.
Other tips include: Move piles of rubbish to a new site before burning it.
Ensure netting is kept at a safe height.
Check compost heaps before digging the fork in.
Stop or reduce the amount of pesticides and poisons used.
Cover drains or deep holes.
Ensure there is an easy route out of ponds and pools.
BHPS chief executive Fay Vass said: “We are asking people to pledge to do at least one positive thing for hedgehogs during the week and if possible let us know. Send us pictures of the hedgehog hole or home you create, or from the event you organise, and if you are on social media do use #hedgehogweek”
BHPS is hoping to raise £2,000 during Hedgehog Awareness Week 2017, texting HHOG17 £5 to 70070 will donate £5 to their appeal. You can change the amount to £1, £2, £3, £4, or £10 to donate those amounts.
Leaflets and posters are available on the charity’s website www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk or they can post copies out on request.