Itchen Valley Country Park posed the question "Is your garden Hog Happy?" back in October 2018 when they launched their year long campaign. Nearly 1800 local residents have directly engaged with the activities and now know more about how to keep local hedgehogs safe.
Since then, they have:
- hosted two Hedgehog Days at the country park
- ran separate hedgehog-related craft sessions
- launched social media campaigns around the top ten tips (#HogHappyGarden)
- held a schools poster competition with 70 entries
- encouraged the Council's Direct Services team to put hedgehog safety stickers on their gardening equipment
- encouraged residents to become Hedgehog Champions and populate the Hedgehog Map.
The campaign supported the UK's ten year conservation strategy (2015-2025), which is spearheaded by Hedgehog Street - a nationwide campaign run by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) and People's Trust for Endangered Species (PTES). They have been on a mission since 2011 to raise awareness of the decline of the Western-European Hedgehog over the late 20th and early 21st century, by promoting simple things people can do in their own gardens to help hedgehogs.
The latest Hedgehog Day took place Sunday 6 October with experts from New Forest Wildlife Park, who supplied prizes and some crafts, and Hamble Hedgehogs. There were two native species (Brian and Hattie) from the Wildlife Park and Snoop Hog Hufflepuff, an African Pygmy, from the local rescue - Hamble Hedgehogs. Visitors enjoyed the crafts, Hedgehog fact trail, meeting the experts and of course - the hedgehogs!
To round off the campaign, Eastleigh Borough Council joins the BHPS 'Roll of Honour for adding hedgehog safety stickers to the Council's equipment. They will remind staff to check for hedgehogs during tasks such as strimming and mowing.
The country park thanks the Hedgehog Street team for their support and are pleased to announce that although Hampshire was reported as top of the table for hog sightings, The Borough of Eastleigh contributed to 15% of these in the past year (an increase from 10% in previous years).
Snoop Hogg Hufflepuff and Hattie (there was also a Brian!)
One of the winners of the Hedgehog Safety Awareness Poster school competition, with their dog...who has it's own blog! Download the winning posters
One of the winners of the Hedgehog Safety Awareness Poster school competition also making their clay hog. Download the winning posters
British Hedgehog Preservation Society safety stickers have been rolled out across relevant Direct Services equipment
The Direct Services team are behind the campaign to check for hedgehogs whilst they are working