11:14 AM 26th October 2023
Construction Giant Jewson Pledges To Help Hedgehogs
Image by Alexa from Pixabay
National builders’ merchant Jewson is the first major national company to sign-up to Hedgehog Street’s ‘Hedgehog Friendly Fencing’ campaign, which was launched in July.
Jewson has pledged to help native hedgehogs by offering customers a number of innovative solutions including gravel boards with pre-installed ‘Hedgehog Highways’. These 13cm square gaps (usually in or under garden boundaries) - give hedgehogs much-needed access to other gardens and green spaces, which is vital for their long-term survival. The company is now working with wildlife charities People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) and The British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) who together run Hedgehog Street.
A native hedgehog next to a Hedgehog Highway. Credit Christopher Morgan
Hedgehog Street’s campaign urges Hedgehog Champions (volunteers who’ve pledged to make their garden hedgehog friendly in a bid to boost populations) and members of the public to contact local and national fencing companies, requesting hedgehog friendly fencing options in their product ranges. Hundreds of people have taken part so far, including 17 year old Hedgehog Champion Dylan Allman whose involvement in the campaign and passion for hedgehogs inspired Jewson to take action. Dylan started his Hedgehog Aware campaign during lockdown and since then has helped Hedgehog Street to spread the word about how everyone can get involved.
Supreme Concrete Wildlife Gravel Board with a Hedgehog Highway installed - Credit Ibstock
Habitat fragmentation is one of the main reasons why Britain’s hedgehog population is in decline, but Hedgehog Highways are one of the best ways to help. According to BHPS and PTES’ State of Britain’s Hedgehogs 2022 report, rural hedgehog numbers have dropped by up to 75% in some parts of the country since 2000, and although urban hedgehogs appear to be faring slightly better, they all still need our help.
Grace Johnson, Hedgehog Officer, Hedgehog Street explains:
“We’re thrilled that Jewson has responded to our latest campaign and will soon be offering hedgehog friendly gravel boards. We know that fences with Hedgehog Highways in are an effective solution in combatting the ongoing decline, and we hope more suppliers and manufacturers will follow suit and offer hedgehog friendly products too. We’re also extremely grateful to Dylan, whose dedication has led to this new relationship.”
Dylan Allman, Hedgehog Champion, adds:
“Hedgehogs are classified as vulnerable to extinction on the Red List for Britain’s Mammals (2020), but thankfully there are lots of ways we can all help these charismatic creatures.
"Hedgehog Highways are a key step, but it’s also really important to check for hedgehogs before strimming and mowing – raising awareness about these factors inspired me to start my Hedgehog Aware campaign.
"I’m so pleased that Jewson are going to be offering such a wonderful wildlife-friendly range of products that I know will help encourage the trade and public to be more aware of hedgehogs, and play their part in helping stop their decline in numbers across the country.”
Jewson’s new ‘Supreme Concrete Wildlife Gravel Board’ will be available in 30 regional stores and online in the new year. If popular with customers, they’ll be introduced to more stores across the country. The board will have a pre-installed 13cm square gap, just the right size for hedgehogs to travel through in their nightly search for food, shelter and mates.
Matthew Handley, Category Innovation Manager, Jewson says:
“We are constantly looking for ways to help our industry become more sustainable, and this latest product is a great example of how small changes can have a positive impact on the planet. We are proud to be supporting Hedgehog Street’s Hedgehog Friendly Fencing campaign and look forward to seeing the difference it makes this winter and beyond.”
Other companies are already helping hedgehogs, including Jacksons Fencing, Birkdale and Selco Builders Warehouse. Since the campaign began several local fencing suppliers have pledged to help, but Jewson is the only national company that has responded to Hedgehog Street’s latest call to help.
And, as autumn sets in, hedgehogs will soon be hunkering down to hibernate over winter. To help them prepare, create leaf piles and compost heaps which could make the perfect nest; encourage natural insect food with log piles; offer sources of water; provide a hedgehog house filled with leaves, twigs and natural materials as an alternative nest option; and always check for hedgehogs before strimming, mowing and ahead of Bonfire Night.
Those without gardens can help too, as the Hedgehog Friendly Fencing campaign is ongoing. Download the template letters from www.hedgehogstreet.org/hedgehog-friendly-fencing
and join the hundreds who’ve already helped by asking local and national fencing companies to get involved.
It is hoped that with the help of the public, and Hedgehog Street’s ongoing work with conservation NGOs, academics, farmers, landowners, UK government, housing developers and now fencing companies, the fate of native hedgehogs can be turned around.
For top tips on how to help hedgehogs, visit www.hedgehogstreet.org